What goes beautifully with an extra-thick cut, juicy, perfectly cooked and buttery steak? The ever reliable, and handsomely humble, potato, of course! Now, of course you can just prick and bake, but that gets old real quick. Nothing wrong with a nice, fluffy, tender baked potato now and then. Love them, actually! But when I want a side dish for a special occasion, I do like to dress those spuds for the occasion! You know? I still wanted to keep them simple, and not overdo them, but I thought that a punch of unexpected flavor, and lots of gooey melty cheese might be fun! So I popped my head into the fridge, freezer, and treasure-hunted through the cupboards, and came up with a few ingredients that I already had on hand, and created these memorable Basil Pesto Cheese Scalloped Potatoes!
Almost as easy to make as a dang baked potato. Not kidding. Thing is, ovens take much longer to preheat than most home cooks might imagine. Mine are even slower than most, being a double wall oven, and higher temps can take as long as 45 minutes plus to fully reach a steady temperature, of say, 425º F or more. Some chefs will let ovens preheat for as long as 2 hours before even thinking of putting anything in it!
We’re only going to 350º for this, but in the time that it takes your oven to fully and properly heat up, (at least 20 minutes, but 30 is better!), you can have these ready to go! So what’s the big deal, right?
And they are so simple-simon to make, that you really don’t have to even measure half of it. The thinly sliced potatoes and shallots or onions, basil pesto, and cheese? A no-brainer. Those ingredients can be played with no probs. Then just whisk up the milk and cream mixture, (you’ll want to measure this part of course which literally takes minutes), gets poured over each layer, and you’re done. Just bake! Halloooohh, new potato friend!! 😀
I wanted these to look nice and be super fun, as this was part of our New Year’s Day dinner! So I did these in two old-fashioned soup bowls. But it seriously made more like four servings!! They made for a picture-perfect, wow-your-company, gorgeously lucious presentation, but even my hubby was only able to eat half of his. And I managed to eat a fourth of mine. (I’m a very small eater, though!) So definitely figure this to be either for four, or if making for two people, you will have plenty enough left over to reheat on low in the microwave for a second round the next day! Which actually worked very well for us!
So, tuck this recipe away for safe keeping, because these would be perfect for Valentine’s Day, too! These potatoes were truly wonderful!! You can do as I did, and create two large sides, or make four smaller sides in ramekins, but either way, they’ll make for a fantastically delicious side for your next dinner! What I love about these also, is you can certainly make one big one, casserole-style, if you’d prefer! (The baking times are the same). And the extra bonus is, that they bake long enough for you to make the main dish and other sides such as salad, plus get everything cleaned up, in the meantime! By the time the potatoes are ready, everything else is too, and the kitchen mess is all done! So be sure to save this one and Pin it! It’s a keeper! Enjoy!!
These incredibly delicious potatoes were served with my
Restaurant-Style Filet Mignon with Compound Butter
for a romantic New Year’s Day dinner with my beloved husband!
(*And they would certainly be wonderful with roast chicken or pork tenderloin, too!
Heck, I’d love these with a big ole juicy burger!)
This incredibly delicious, and romantic dinner was also served with my
homemade Thick, Rich & Chunky Blue Cheese Salad Dressing!
*If Blue Cheese isn’t your thing,
I have created more than 20 other salad dressings to choose from!
- 1 lb. (*about 3 small to medium-sized) red, Yukon Gold, or russet potatoes, unpeeled and sliced thinly (1/8 - inch)
- 3 - 4 Tbl. basil pesto, as desired
- 2 large shallots or ½ of a small onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 (8 oz.) bag shredded 4-Cheese Mexican Cheese, (2 cups), such as Sargento's
- Cream Mixture:
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup heavy mayo such as Hellmann's or Duke's
- 1 Tbl. + 1 tsp. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. coarse ground black pepper, or to taste
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Butter insides of oven-safe bowls or ramekins, (or you can just spray them with no-stick butter-flavored spray if that's easier and more convenient for you).
- In large 4-cup measuring pitcher or medium-sized bowl with spout for pouring, whisk together milk, cream, mayo, flour, salt, pepper, garlic and powders until completely combined.
- Using a mandoline (or kitchen knife), slice potatoes into ⅛-inch slices. Layer ⅓ of the potato slices into bottoms of each buttered dish. Spread potato layer with a level (or rounded if you like more!) ½ Tbl. of the pesto in each. Sprinkle on some shallots (or onions), then ⅓ of the cheese. Then pour on ⅓ of the cream and milk mixture.(About a ⅓ of a cup per dish).
- Repeat this twice more, making three layers total, ending with the last third of the cream mixture. Place dishes onto small, foil-lined baking sheet or pizza pan. Cover each dish with lids or foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove lids (or foil), and bake for an additional 40 - 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. *Test with a knife. If a knife inserted near center goes through like butter with no resistance, potatoes are tender.
- Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. (*Plenty of time to grill or pan-fry some steaks!) Hold these in a warm oven if you need to, covered.
- *Serve garnished with a little fresh basil or parsley if you'd like.