Thursday, September 20, 2012

Butterless Scalloped Potatoes

Tomorrow is pay day, so that means grocery day! Yay! But that also means we are low on food today. But as the thrifty cook knows there is ALWAYS something to make, as long as you're willing to be creative. Today I decided to make scalloped potatoes before I realized I was out of butter. But don't you fret! My creative brain realized that the butter was only the fat that bound my thickener. So why not use a different fat? Oils wouldn't work in this particular dish, but guess what works beautifullly as a fat? Well, fat. Or to be more precise, pig fat, in the form of Bacon grease. I actually save my Bacon grease but you can always make some fresh by frying up some Bacon, you could even add the Bacon to this dish!

In a saucepan add three tablespoons and turn it onto medium heat. Add three tablespoons of all purpose flour to the grease and mix thoroughly. Let this cook for 60 seconds before adding one and a half cups of milk. Bring this mixture to boil, stirring occasionally. Once you have reached boiling, turn your heat to low and add one cup of shredded cheese. I used Colby Jack but you can use whatever you like, as long as its a good melting cheese.

Now that your sauce is complete you should slice up your taters. I use whatever I have on hand. Today I used good ol fashioned white potatoes. My potatoes were cut by hand, but I aimed for about an eighth of an inch thick. You could always use an electric slicer or a mandolin but its not necessary. I had about two and a half cups of sliced potatoes when I was done.

I used some non stick cooking spray before I made my first layer of potatoes. I had four layers, and spread my sauce between each layer, and of course, on top of the final layer.

I went into my cupboard and realized sadly I was out of bread crumbs. Of course you don't have to have a crunchy topping, but I like to. So I crushed up Cheerios with salt pepper and garlic. Sprinkle them right on top. Bake in the oven for about an hour at 300°. And there you have it! A great side dish from my kitchen to your table!

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