Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 3 pounds baking potatoes,preferably Idaho, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 3 ounces Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated (about ¾ cup)
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- 1 Cup heavy cream
- Place a rack in the top half of the oven and preheat to 375°.
- In a large saucepan, combine 2 cups water with the milk, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Add the potatoes and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender but still slightly firm, about 8 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, transfer half the potatoes to a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish; arrange the potatoes in an even layer.
- Sprinkle with half the cheese and the cayenne; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Repeat with the remaining potatoes and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Pour the heavy cream evenly over the top.
- Bake the scalloped potatoes until golden and crisp on top, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- French Style - Sprinkle 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon between the layers of potatoes. Stir 1 heaping tablespoon grainy mustard into the heavy cream.
- Greek Style - Substitute crumbled goat cheese for the Gruyere and sprinkle ½ teaspoon lemon zest and 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves between the potato layers.
- Spanish Style - Layer the potatoes with 8 ounces thinly sliced chorizo and 5 chopped piquillo peppers or pimientos.