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For Thanksgiving this year, we are headed to my in-laws house in the Bay Area. This has been a banner year for babies in the family, and thus a big group is descending to take part in the Thanksgiving gluttony as well as meet and greet the new additions.

A sign up list was sent out for side dishes, desserts etc. Usually, I am really excited to showcase one of my culinary creations, but I have to admit it…I copped out. I signed up for rolls. (I can hear my friends saying “WHAT?! I can’t believe YOU signed up for rolls…” Yes, I know I know…but we are driving up on Wednesday and I don’t want to make any promises I can’t deliver!) And just a few minutes after I sent out the email signing up for rolls, I got a response from my husband’s cousin, Richard via email saying he was certain I would have been making my “famous scalloped potatoes” and if I wasn’t going to make them could he please have the recipe to have a go at it. Needless to say, I had no idea that they were in any way famous and I am hugely pleased and honored they have been given such status.

Truth be told my famous scalloped potatoes are adapted from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse
used on the menu at his Delmonico Steakhouse. Ridiculously rich, they are crisp on top and ooze with yummy cheese. So Richard, just in case I don’t get around to making them this year…here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Marita’s Famous Scalloped Potatoes
makes 6 servings

4 cups half & half (or 2% milk for a reduced calorie version)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tsps. salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 lbs Russet Potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/4 inch slices
8 oz good quality Swiss cheese, grated ( you can also do a mix of white cheddar and swiss for a milder flavor)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish with vegetable oil.

2. Bring half & half (or milk) and garlic cloves to a simmer in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, take care to not scald the half & half. Add salt & pepper and stir well. Add potatoes adding more half & half as necessary to just cover them. Lower the heat to medium -low and simmer until the potatoes are barely fork tender, approx. 10 minutes. Flip potatoes carefully with a spatula or slotted spoon so that all the potatoes are cooked uniformly.

3. Transfer a third of the potatoes with some of the cream to the prepared baking dish, and layer a third of the cheese, alternate until ending with cheese on top.

4. Place the dish on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until golden brown on top, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before serving nice and hot!

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