Well, Michigan in February has been NO fun. Record cold temperatures again. The only good thing about that is it makes comfort foods like soups and casseroles that much more comforting, especially on a lazy Sunday.
I remember as a kid, I hated scalloped potatoes. Now, I can not understand why. Now, I LOVE them. I’ve messed around with different ways of making them and, so far, I like this one the best. I’ve made them with ham, ham and cheese, sausage, and one that we like has sausage and cabbage. Lazy way of making sure you get a vegetable at dinner. 🙂
Last fall, I stopped at a meat market that I had been meaning to visit for a long time and just never quite made the time. Wow, was I glad I finally made the time. Beyond the typical fresh meats and poultry, there is double smoked bacon which, in the packages I froze that in I marked it “bacon delicous”. It’s that good. They also have a very large array of homemade sausages, many of them with names ending in “wurst”, but not all. They have some smoked sausages ranging from mild to sweet to spicy to VERY hot. But I was most intrigued with their homemade smoked andouille. In the rope style. I bought a ring of it to try. Mmmmm, it was love at first bite. The spices are perfect. Just enough heat for a bite, but not to overpower the smoke or the rest of those flavors. And the smokiness is sooo much more than commercially “smoked” meats. I went back at first opportunity and bought more. It didn’t take long for me to realize this would be phenomenal in scalloped potatoes.
Wow. That smokiness just permeates the rest of the dish, and adds that spicy kick, just making it warm, not hot. When later warmed in the microwave, the whole room has that smoky aroma.
- 1 Large Onion, sliced (I cut the large rings into quarters)
- 3 T. Butter
- 3½ T. Flour
- Salt & Pepper
- 1½ c. Milk
- ½ c. Chicken stock or broth (make a little with bouillon)
- 3-4 Medium Potatoes, washed
- ½ pound good smoked andouille sausage
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Butter a medium sized casserole dish.
- Split the sausage lengthwise, then cut into ½ inch thick slices. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, just to render out the worst of the fat and brown it a little. Drain on paper towels
- Scrub or peel potatoes into thin slices and layer them in the casserole dish, followed by a layer of onions, then a layer of sausage, then cheese if you wish. Repeat.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in the flour. Stir and cook for a minute. Whisking quickly, slowly add the milk and stock. Keep whisking while heating until it comes to a simmer and mixture thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour hot milk mixture over potato layers and bake for about 1 - 1½ hours, until potatoes are tender and top is browned.
- Let stand for 15 minutes or so for sauce to thicken.
I wish for all of you to find a butcher that can make this. If not, just use a good quality smoked sausage. I have seen a few commercial ones that are double smoked that are quite good. But really, do yourself a favor and find a good butcher with a good smokehouse!