Day 16: Scalloped Potatoes, Carrots and Salt Cod

24 Jan

Microplanes are some of the handiest kitchen tools around. They only cost about $15 and you can use them for grating everything from lemon zest to cheese to chocolate. If you really enjoy wasting your money, you can splurge on all the different models for nutmeg, zesting, chocolate, cheese etc., but this one can be used for just about anything. The nice thing about these tools is that they produce really fluffy grated cheese. This means you can stretch a small amount of cheese, since its volume when grated with this is a little bigger. Most scalloped potato recipes include a hefty amount of cheese. For this recipe I just finished the dish with cheese instead of including it in each layer, since the cheese ration for each week was so small during the war. This could be a side dish, but since it includes fish, vegetables and cream, and is pretty filling, you could serve it as a main course.

Scalloped Potatoes, Carrots and Salt Cod

4 Servings

6 or 7 medium potatoes, preferably waxy, like Yukon Golds
1/4 horse carrot, cut into thick coins
2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 clove, crushed
3 tablespoons salt cod, soaked overnight in several changes of cold water
3 tablespoons microplaned hard sheep’s milk cheese

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease a baking dish that’s about an inch and a half high and 8 inches square. Cut the potatoes into 1-centimeter slices. Don’t bother to peel the potatoes unless they are Russets or Idahos – they should be thin-skinned, so it won’t matter if you leave the peel on. Put the potatoes in a pot with the carrots, thyme, garlic, nutmeg and clove. Cover with equal parts milk and cream – just enough to cover the vegetables. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook slowly for about 5 minutes to soften the potatoes and carrots. Remove from the heat. Separate the vegetables and liquid using a strainer. Carefully layer the potatoes and carrots in the baking dish. Season VERY lightly with the salt since even soaked, the salt cod will add a lot of salt to the dish. Put the salt cod in with the warm cream mixture, then pour the mixture over the top of the layered vegetables. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the top is bubbly and golden brown. Then remove from the oven, sprinkle with the cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little. If you want to portion it neatly, you can chill it in the refrigerator, cut it into squares and then reheat the individual squares when you’re ready to serve.


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