Scalloped Potatoes with Porcini & Bacon
Who can resist the smell of bacon and onions cooking? Add them to creamy potatoes along with porcinis and all thoughts of healthy eating are momentarily and happily discarded (there’s always tomorrow!).
- 1 pkg (14 g) dried porcini mushrooms, optional
- 6 strips bacon, thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 lbs (1 kg) potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold
- 2 cups (500 mL) milk, 2% or homogenized
- 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Butter a casserole that measures about 9 inches (23 cm) square. Place mushrooms in a small bowl. Cover mushrooms with about ½ cup (125 mL) boiling water. Let stand while preparing ingredients.
3. In a large frying pan, cook bacon over medium heat until it starts to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion and continue to cook until bacon is crisp and onion is tender, about 5 more minutes. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Strain mushrooms over a bowl but don’t discard liquid. Squeeze out any liquid from mushrooms into bowl. Chop mushrooms and stir into bacon mixture.
4. Peel potatoes and slice as thinly as possible, no thicker than ¼ inch (5 mm). Place milk, cream and nutmeg in a large wide pan. Gradually add mushroom liquid, so that any grit at bottom of bowl doesn’t get added. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Add potatoes to simmering milk mixture. Stir. Cook just until almost fork tender, about 10 minutes.
5. Using a slotted spoon, remove and spread about half the potatoes into prepared casserole. Top with half the bacon mixture. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Spoon remaining potatoes over top. Repeat with bacon mixture and seasonings. Carefully pour milk mixture over top, to evenly distribute. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and continue to bake until golden and bubbling, about 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.