Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Grandma's Au Gratin Potatoes and Cabbage Casserole

When I started this blog in January 2012, I would have never dreamed of reaching the big 500.
I humbly thank you all for visiting as often as you do. ---Denise Grisham
Every Wednesday night is "Momma Night." When my Father passed away many years ago, we started having her over to eat supper with us on Wednesdays to give her a tasty reason to get out of the house. Typically, a phone call to my Aunt Kay is placed right after we eat on those nights. "Well, what did you serve your Mother tonight?" is the first question asked. If I tell her any type of pork, she ooos and aaaahs as I describe the meat and the accompanying veggies. One evening I had fixed au gratin potatoes. If you remember that post, we discussed my Grandma's recipe which included cabbage. As typical with my family, recipes were never written down.

When she made a recent visit, I thought I would surprise her with my version of this family favorite. Using the basic prep for the au gratin potatoes with her remembered layering of vegetables, my dish was a hit. She swears they tasted just like what Grandma used to make.

2 medium-large potatoes
1 medium sweet onion (Vidalia when available)
Salt & pepper to taste
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (or your preference)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a small casserole dish with cooking spray or softened butter.

 Chop cabbage and line the bottom of the casserole dish. Season each layer with salt and pepper.
 Slice onion and break up into rings. Lay on top of the cabbage.
Peel potatoes and slice them to an equal thickness so they will cook evenly. (Between 1/8" to 1/4") I use a mandolin slicer (carefully!) for consistent thickness. Layer on top of the onions.
Here is my favorite part. Melt the butter in a saucepan and whisk in the flour and salt. Keep stirring until well blended. Slowly add milk while continually whisking so you don't end up with lumps. As is starts to thicken, add the cheese and blend with a spoon until it's nice and creamy.
Distribute the cheesy sauce over the whole dish. 
Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 1-1/2 hours.

Carefully check the doneness of the potatoes during the last fifteen minutes. Slowly remove the foil so you don't get burned by the steam. If your potatoes are done, put the dish back in the oven uncovered and let it bake so that the cheese sauce can "get a tinge of brown" like Andy says. If you cut your potatoes too thick and they require a lot more time, I'd cover them back up and check again fifteen minutes later.

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