Spud-tastic! Variation on the Scallop Potato

The mandoline is receiving a lot of press in food magazines lately. Both Fine Cooking and Bon Appetit devote space and time to the slicer in their January issues. The mandoline, made in various types of materials and sold at various prices, is a handy tool for making paper thin and fairly uniform slices. It shreds cabbage beautifully for cole slaw, and if you have attachments, makes brilliant julienne pieces.  I’ve written about it previously for making my favourite celery salad.
Lately, I’m charmed with how it handles local red potatoes for scalloped potatoes. It’s a great wintery dish and is easy to assemble. The uniformity of the thin slices lets you layer beautifully.
I was using up bits of cheese I had leftover, so this is not one of those in-your-face calorie busters. It’s on the tame side. A layer of potatoes, salt and freshly ground pepper, a bit of grated cheese, and repeat.
Instead of the usual milk and cream liquid to cook the spuds in, I added chicken stock, for a take on gratin savoyard (scallop potatoes with meat stock and cheese), from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child.  Fill your casserole just enough to moisten the layers without drowning the whole thing.
Cover the dish with grated cheese, I used parmesan, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender, bubbling and lusciously brown on top.
Et voila!
The dish makes a lovely accompaniment at dinner or lunch. We enjoyed generous wedges with a poached egg and salad for a delicious Sunday lunch. Second helping were involved.
Options: freshly chopped thyme and thinly sliced onions add further interest to this easy dish and of course, dotting it with butter is always welcome.

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