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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Cook of Matthew (feat. Technicality Norris)

Published: November 19, 2010
Section: Arts, Etc.

Scalloped Potatoes

Bret: The French have many interesting ways of handling boring food. One way is called gratin, which is basically French for “add more cheese until it works.” You’ve probably had potatoes gratiné before; we call them scalloped potatoes.

Alex: This particular recipe is pretty simple, and like most good college recipes requires more patience than actual cooking skill. So don’t worry, you probably won’t ruin it. Just make sure to cook it on a night when you don’t have any sit-ins or ice cream socials or whatever it is you kids do when you aren’t getting wasted at Pachanga.

You will need:

3 to 4 medium sized potatoes (preferably russet potatoes)

1 tablespoon flour

½ tablespoon salt

1½ tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 onion (yellow)

A 1-quart baking dish

First, some preparation: In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt. A pinch of pepper and paprika would not go amiss, either. If you don’t have paprika, you should reconsider the way you live your life. I did.

Bret: If you’re like me, you’ll want to use gluten-free flour …

Alex: But, if you’re like him, we should stop teaching you to feed yourself and let natural selection take its course.

Bret: I hate you. Thinly slice the potatoes and layer a third of the slices on the bottom of the buttered baking dish. Top them with a thin layer of your flour mixture. At this point, you can also dice your onion and sprinkle in some of the pieces. You could also add some pieces of my broken heart.

Alex: Stop being dramatic. You’re going to do the same thing with the second third, and then, with your last third of potato slices, cover the dish and add the butter on top (you can melt it beforehand, or just dab it on).

Bret: Next, scald the milk (that’s fancy chef’s talk for heating it up without boiling—make sure to stir) and pour it into the dish. Cover the whole thing with aluminum foil and bake (that’s fancy chef’s talk for “put”) it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30-45 minutes, until the potatoes begin to look tender.

Alex: How can you tell if something looks tender?

Bret: Why don’t you ask your mother?

Alex: Oh no you didn’t. Now that you’ve got yourself some tender potatoes, you want to uncover the dish, add the cheese on top, and return it to the oven uncovered for about 15 more minutes, or until the cheese has melted and begun to turn golden-brown.

Bret: This should serve three or four people, but if you want more (and trust me, you will) it’s fairly easy to double or even triple the recipe in a larger baking dish.

Alex: That’s a good idea no matter what, because it’s a well-known fact that the more stuff you cook, the more friends you have.