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Subject: scalloped potatoes
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

============================

From: Jen <anyofusNo[at]SPAMbigpond.net.au>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 23:28:34 GMT
--------
Usually I would always make a simple scalloped potatoes, by layering thin
slices of potato in a dish and adding enough milk to almost cover, dotting
with butter and baking at 180 C for about an hour.  Lately this hasn't been
working right, I end up with a watery liquid in the dish, and it just
doesn't taste right.  The only difference I can think of is that I've got a
new oven (I think it was around the same time), so maybe it's the
temperature.  So should I Cook it for longer or less time?  Or should I turn
the oven up or down?  Or what else could I try?  Any ideas?

Thanks

============================

From: Paul M. Cook <pmBERMUDA_SHORTScook[at]gte.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 23:39:02 GMT
--------
The water is coming from the milk.  Something acidic is making the milk
separate into curds and whey.  Could the potatoes be to blame?  Try a
different potato, like a Yukon Gold.  I know that russets have a lot of
water in them.  Also, I always use flour.  Mix a couple tablespoons of flour
with salt and white pepper and sprinkle that over the potatoes before adding
the milk.  Also, try whole milk or half and half.  The fat in the milk
should bind better with the flour making for a more cohesive sauce.

============================

From: Jen <anyofusNo[at]SPAMbigpond.net.au>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 22:37:42 GMT
--------
Paul M. Cook wrote:
> The water is coming from the milk.  Something acidic is making the milk
> separate into curds and whey.  Could the potatoes be to blame?  Try a
> different potato, like a Yukon Gold.  I know that russets have a lot of
> water in them.  Also, I always use flour.  Mix a couple tablespoons of flour
> with salt and white pepper and sprinkle that over the potatoes before adding
> the milk.  Also, try whole milk or half and half.  The fat in the milk
> should bind better with the flour making for a more cohesive sauce.

I always use full cream milk, but I'll try the flour sometime.  Thanks 

============================

From: Christine Dabney <artisan2[at]ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 17:42:28 -0600
--------
The method I learned was from Julia Child/Jacques Pepin.  They start
the potatoes on top of the stove, and have flour mixed in with the
milk.  The milk is also heated.  This way, the flour dissolves and
starts thickening the milk mixture.  Then the dish is transferred to
the oven to finish cooking.

I don't know if it would be the oven or not.  I suppose it could be.
Did your method work well before this?

Christine, going to look up Julia/Jacques' method to make sure she is
not telling you the wrong way. ;)

============================

From: Christine Dabney <artisan2[at]ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 17:45:49 -0600
--------
I lied about the method, but almost got it right...;) 

No flour is added to the milk, and the dish is started stovetop first.
That helps the potatoes to start thickening the milk.

Then transfer them to the oven.

============================

From: Tracy <tlkarachi[at]gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 23:56:18 -0000
--------
Jen wrote:
> Usually I would always make a simple scalloped potatoes, by layering thin
> slices of potato in a dish and adding enough milk to almost cover, dotting
> with butter and baking at 180 C for about an hour.  Lately this hasn't been
> working right, I end up with a watery liquid in the dish, and it just
> doesn't taste right.  The only difference I can think of is that I've got a
> new oven (I think it was around the same time), so maybe it's the
> temperature.  So should I Cook it for longer or less time?  Or should I turn
> the oven up or down?  Or what else could I try?  Any ideas?

Makes sense that it is your new oven. Do you have an oven thermometer?
Maybe your old oven was hotter?  Try a higher temp.  Unless you used a
different potato or recipe it is probably the oven.

============================

From: Jen <anyofusNo[at]SPAMbigpond.net.au>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 22:40:31 GMT
--------
Tracy wrote:
> Makes sense that it is your new oven. Do you have an oven thermometer?
> Maybe your old oven was hotter?  Try a higher temp.  Unless you used a
> different potato or recipe it is probably the oven.

I haven't got an oven thermometer, and I don't know what the old oven's 
temperature was.  But I might actually try some of these other ideas. 
Thanks everyone for the help and ideas.

============================

From: aem <aem_again[at]yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 16:19:46 -0700
--------
Jen wrote:
> I haven't got an oven thermometer, and I don't know what the old oven's
> temperature was.  But I might actually try some of these other ideas.
> Thanks everyone for the help and ideas.

And you say elsewhere that this is a new oven.  It makes no sense not
to spend the small change for an ordinary thermometer.  It is not
unusual for ovens to be miscalibrated by enough to matter.  And a
thermometer will show you how fast or slow you need to preheat the
oven. Put it on your shopping list.    -aem

============================

From: Gloria Puester <puester[at]worldnet.att.net>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 01:44:36 GMT
--------
Jen wrote:
> Usually I would always make a simple scalloped potatoes, by layering thin
> slices of potato in a dish and adding enough milk to almost cover, dotting
> with butter and baking at 180 C for about an hour.  Lately this hasn't been
> working right, I end up with a watery liquid in the dish, and it just
> doesn't taste right.  The only difference I can think of is that I've got a
> new oven (I think it was around the same time), so maybe it's the
> temperature.  So should I Cook it for longer or less time?  Or should I turn
> the oven up or down?  Or what else could I try?  Any ideas?

Instead of just milk, make a bechamel sauce (white sauce = butter, 
flour, milk, cooked till thickened, salt and pepper.)  Pour over 
potatoes, bake till potatoes are tender.

And what--no sliced onion?

============================

From: Jill McQuown <jmcquown[at]bellsouth.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 21:36:50 -0500
--------
Gloria Puester wrote:
> Instead of just milk, make a bechamel sauce (white sauce = butter,
> flour, milk, cooked till thickened, salt and pepper.)  Pour over
> potatoes, bake till potatoes are tender.
> 
> And what--no sliced onion?

That's how I've always done it - the Betty Crocker method :)

Jill (no onions)

============================

From: hahabogus <invalid[at]null.null>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 03:23:39 GMT
--------
Gloria Puester wrote:
> Instead of just milk, make a bechamel sauce (white sauce = butter, 
> flour, milk, cooked till thickened, salt and pepper.)  Pour over 
> potatoes, bake till potatoes are tender.
> 
> And what--no sliced onion?

There are flourless scalloped potato recipes, but they involve 
cream...where's the seasoning??? No mention of even salt or pepper, 
nevermind garlic or rosemary.

============================

From: Jill McQuown <jmcquown[at]bellsouth.net>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 11:22:59 -0500
--------
hahabogus wrote:
> There are flourless scalloped potato recipes, but they involve
> cream...where's the seasoning??? No mention of even salt or pepper,
> nevermind garlic or rosemary.

So add some, silly :)

============================

From: Jen <anyofusNo[at]SPAMbigpond.net.au>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 22:44:37 GMT
--------
hahabogus wrote:
> There are flourless scalloped potato recipes, but they involve
> cream...where's the seasoning??? No mention of even salt or pepper,
> nevermind garlic or rosemary.

I didn't mention the salt and pepper, but I do use it.  I put it on each 
layer of potato.  I discovered this recipe was simple and easy, and it 
usually worked.  Milk is easy because I always have some in the fridge, but 
if I used cream, I would have to remember to purposely go and buy some 
beforehand.

============================

From: Goomba38 <Goomba38[at]comcast.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 23:27:10 -0400
--------
Gloria Puester wrote:
> Instead of just milk, make a bechamel sauce (white sauce = butter, 
> flour, milk, cooked till thickened, salt and pepper.)  Pour over 
> potatoes, bake till potatoes are tender.

That's how I make mine, layering the potatoes, S&P,onions with the white 
sauce and the occasional addition of bits of diced ham in there too.
I like to use a lot of white sauce and get it really nice and browned at 
the edges of the casserole dish.

============================

From: Nancy2 <nancy-dooley[at]uiowa.edu>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 09:55:51 -0700
--------
Puester wrote:
> Instead of just milk, make a bechamel sauce (white sauce = butter,
> flour, milk, cooked till thickened, salt and pepper.)  Pour over
> potatoes, bake till potatoes are tender.
>
> And what--no sliced onion?

That milk &amp; flour layering isn't precise enough for me; I've always
used a white sauce.  That way, the final product will be as thick as I
want it.  And, always onions, and sometimes sprinkles of dried parsley
and a little paprika.  And sometimes ham.

============================

From: Dee Dee <deedovey[at]shentel.net>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 14:39:02 -0400
--------
Nancy2 wrote:
> That milk &amp; flour layering isn't precise enough for me; I've always
> used a white sauce.  That way, the final product will be as thick as I
> want it.  And, always onions, and sometimes sprinkles of dried parsley
> and a little paprika.  And sometimes ham.

I prefer bechamel myself.

During the 50's when escalloped (sp?) potatoes were almost once-a-week fare, 
I made them a lot.  It was much faster to just dust the flour on, and pour 
some warm milk over it.  I didn't know what parsley was then; probably 
didn't know what to use paprika for, but I did use onions, and almost always 
ham.

I hardly make them anymore.  They're almost too good; one has to eat them up 
soonest.

============================

From: Sheldon <PENMART01[at]aol.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 18:39:36 -0700
--------
Gloria Puester wrote:

> Instead of just milk, make a bechamel sauce (white sauce = butter,
> flour, milk, cooked till thickened, salt and pepper.)  Pour over
> potatoes, bake till potatoes are tender.

Correcto-Mundo!  With plain milk it's the TIAD version

> And what--no sliced onion?

That would make it Lyonnaised.

Top with crumbs to make it a Gratine.

============================

From: Julia Altshuler <jaltshuler[at]comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 12:07:43 -0400
--------
Jen wrote:
> Usually I would always make a simple scalloped potatoes, by layering thin
> slices of potato in a dish and adding enough milk to almost cover, dotting
> with butter and baking at 180 C for about an hour.  Lately this hasn't been
> working right, I end up with a watery liquid in the dish, and it just
> doesn't taste right.  The only difference I can think of is that I've got a
> new oven (I think it was around the same time), so maybe it's the
> temperature.  So should I Cook it for longer or less time?  Or should I turn
> the oven up or down?  Or what else could I try?  Any ideas?

I'm going to guess that if you've been using a tried and true recipe and 
were happy with the results before, the changed variable is the 
potatoes.  You've been buying them in a net 5#-10# bag from the same 
place in the supermarket, right?  (Or similarly been buying them from 
the same place.)  Now the bag looks the same, but the potatoes might be 
different, probably a different starch content.  Some potatoes are 
better for baking and some better for boiling.  I'd look for Idahos.  Or 
try to figure out what you were getting before, and get more of them. 
Even potatoes from the same state, from the same seed, can give 
different results from year to year, so my advice isn't surefire, but 
I'd look to the potatoes before fiddling with a recipe I knew I liked.

--Lia

============================

From: Ophelia <O[at]nix.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 18:17:19 +0100
--------
Julia Altshuler wrote:
> I'm going to guess that if you've been using a tried and true recipe
> and were happy with the results before, the changed variable is the
> potatoes.  You've been buying them in a net 5#-10# bag from the same
> place in the supermarket, right?  (Or similarly been buying them from
> the same place.)  Now the bag looks the same, but the potatoes might
> be different, probably a different starch content.  Some potatoes are
> better for baking and some better for boiling.  I'd look for Idahos. Or 
> try to figure out what you were getting before, and get more of
> them. Even potatoes from the same state, from the same seed, can give
> different results from year to year, so my advice isn't surefire, but
> I'd look to the potatoes before fiddling with a recipe I knew I liked.

But Lia... she said the only variable was the oven.  Perhaps she needs to 
get a thermometer and check the temperature. 

============================

From: Julia Altshuler <jaltshuler[at]comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 13:41:53 -0400
--------
Ophelia wrote:
> But Lia... she said the only variable was the oven.  Perhaps she needs to 
> get a thermometer and check the temperature. 

Agreed, but I was reading between the lines.  I was thinking she might 
have assumed the potatoes were the same when really she'd opened a new 
bag, and the potatoes inside were different.

Of course, checking the oven temperature is a good idea anyway when one 
has a new oven, and the oven could be it, so we're all giving good advice.

============================

From: Jo Anne <joanne.slaven[at]sympatico.ca>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 20:32:28 -0400
--------
Julia Altshuler wrote:
>Agreed, but I was reading between the lines.  I was thinking she might 
>have assumed the potatoes were the same when really she'd opened a new 
>bag, and the potatoes inside were different.
>
>Of course, checking the oven temperature is a good idea anyway when one 
>has a new oven, and the oven could be it, so we're all giving good advice.

Or maybe she has switched from whole milk to skim. That would
certainly make things watery!

============================

From: Nancy2 <nancy-dooley[at]uiowa.edu>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 08:48:32 -0700
--------
Jo Anne wrote:
> Or maybe she has switched from whole milk to skim. That would
> certainly make things watery!

I use nothing but skim milk, and it has never been a problem.  It also
has never been a problem in things like custards and puddings.

============================

From: Jen <anyofusNo[at]SPAMbigpond.net.au>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 22:50:54 GMT
--------
Jo Anne wrote:
> Or maybe she has switched from whole milk to skim. That would
> certainly make things watery!

No.  I always use full cream milk. 

============================

From: Sheldon <PENMART01[at]aol.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 18:43:56 -0700
--------
Julia Altshuler wrote:
> Agreed, but I was reading between the lines.  I was thinking she might
> have assumed the potatoes were the same when really she'd opened a new
> bag, and the potatoes inside were different.
>
> Of course, checking the oven temperature is a good idea anyway when one
> has a new oven, and the oven could be it, so we're all giving good advice.

Yeah... slather with lard and poke it right in it's rectum! hehe

Sheldon RN

============================

From: Jen <anyofusNo[at]SPAMbigpond.net.au>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 22:50:07 GMT
--------
Ophelia wrote:
> But Lia... she said the only variable was the oven.  Perhaps she needs to 
> get a thermometer and check the temperature.

I wouldn't know what the temperature in the old oven was though. 

============================

From: Jen <anyofusNo[at]SPAMbigpond.net.au>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 22:49:25 GMT
--------
Julia Altshuler wrote:
> I'm going to guess that if you've been using a tried and true recipe and 
> were happy with the results before, the changed variable is the potatoes. 
> You've been buying them in a net 5#-10# bag from the same place in the 
> supermarket, right?  (Or similarly been buying them from the same place.) 
> Now the bag looks the same, but the potatoes might be different, probably 
> a different starch content.  Some potatoes are better for baking and some 
> better for boiling.  I'd look for Idahos.  Or try to figure out what you 
> were getting before, and get more of them. Even potatoes from the same 
> state, from the same seed, can give different results from year to year, 
> so my advice isn't surefire, but I'd look to the potatoes before fiddling 
> with a recipe I knew I liked.

You're probably right that it's the potatoes.  I've always just bought 
"potatoes", without really taking much notice of what they were.  I'll try 
some of these ideas though, it might be a good time for a change.  It's 
Spring here, and that's usually a good time for change.

============================

From: Ophelia <O[at]nix.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 14:08:47 +0100
--------
Jen wrote:
> You're probably right that it's the potatoes.  I've always just bought
> "potatoes", without really taking much notice of what they were. I'll try 
> some of these ideas though, it might be a good time for a
> change.  It's Spring here, and that's usually a good time for change.

Points for Julia:)))))))))))))))) 

============================

From: Sheldon <PENMART01[at]aol.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 09:19:07 -0700
--------
Ophelia wrote:
> Points for Julia:))))))))))))))))

I seriously doubt it's the potatoes, in fact that's the last thing I'd
suspect, in fact I'd never consider it could be the potatoes that
added too much liquid, not unless they were rotten and oozing to begin
with and then anyone with a functioning smeller would know.  She
didn't measure the milk, just poured it on to cover the potatoes, not
a method that will ever give consistant results... and in fact if the
potatoes are actually totally covered with liquid they will *always*
and *every time* and *without fail* be soupy because in fact that's an
excellent method for judging the correct proportions to make potato
soup..

Sheldon Starch

============================

From: Ophelia <O[at]nix.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 17:35:11 +0100
--------
Sheldon wrote:
> I seriously doubt it's the potatoes, in fact that's the last thing I'd
> suspect, in fact I'd never consider it could be the potatoes that
> added too much liquid, not unless they were rotten and oozing to begin
> with and then anyone with a functioning smeller would know.  She
> didn't measure the milk, just poured it on to cover the potatoes, not
> a method that will ever give consistant results... and in fact if the
> potatoes are actually totally covered with liquid they will *always*
> and *every time* and *without fail* be soupy because in fact that's an
> excellent method for judging the correct proportions to make potato
> soup..

OK Sheldon Starch, recipe please? 

============================

From: Sheldon <PENMART01[at]aol.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 18:50:17 -0700
--------
Scalloped Potatoes with Pork Chops

6 Pork chops; cut 1/2" thick
2 tb Cooking oil
Salt
Pepper
3 tb Butter; or regular margarine
3 tb Flour
1 1/2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Pepper
2 c Chicken broth
6 c Potatoes; pared, sliced
1 md Onion; sliced, separated into rings

Brown pork chops on both sides in hot oil in 12" skillet. Sprinkle
with salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan.
Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add chicken broth, and cook, stirring
constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Place potatoes in bottom of
11"x7"x1.1/2" baking dish. Top with onion rings. Pour chicken broth
mixture evenly over top. Top with pork chops. Cover with foil. Bake in
350~ oven 1 hr. Remove cover and continue baking 30 mins. or until
meat is tender.

<a href="http://www.justvegetablerecipes.com/">www.justvegetablerecipes.com</a>

============================

From: Jen <anyofusNo[at]SPAMbigpond.net.au>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 05:58:47 GMT
--------
Sheldon wrote:
> Scalloped Potatoes with Pork Chops

That sounds good.  I think this one I'll do next week.

Thanks 

============================

From: Sheldon <PENMART01[at]aol.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 08:34:42 -0700
--------
Jen wrote:
> That sounds good.  I think this one I'll do next week.

I haven't used that exact recipe, it's one I just now found to use as
an example... it's very similar to how I make scalloped potatoes.  I
never make just plain old scalloped potatoes, all white has to be the
most boring dish going.  I always add some kind of meat, whether pork
chops, ham, sausage, chicken, ground beef, often cheese and veggies
too... even good layered with sliced hard cooked eggs.  I make it an
entire one dish meal, I can't see lighting off an oven just for plain
old spuds,and then I'll still need to cook the actual food.... plain
white potatoes in plain white sauce is not very nutritious ratio-wise
for the high caloric content.


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