I could dive head first into a pan of these extra cheesy scalloped potatoes with pancetta. I’m not kidding you. This is how obsessed I am with this recipe. I mean, how can you possibly go wrong when sharp cheddar, monterey jack and gruyere collide in a pot of oozy savoriness. Oh, and did I mention that these 3 cheeses collide twice? Once, in a cheese sauce and second, in a cheesy blend. It really doesn’t get much better than that. These cheesy scalloped potatoes with pancetta are a must have this Thanksgiving, or really any day of the year!
I hope everyone has had a fab weekend so far! It has been the usual around here. Another couple hundred big ones were spent at Home Depot yesterday (STORY OF OUR LIVES), and the backsplash in our kitchen, the fence around our yard and putting up the rest of the blinds are projects that are almost ready to happen! Woo! I get weirdly happy when little projects are accomplished … except …
Our power went out AGAIN this morning. Ok, so to make a long story incredibly short, our power has gone out every single Saturday at 9:30 (mountain) for the past 6 weeks. I’m not kidding you. This has happened EVERY SINGLE SATURDAY. The lady at our power company says that there are animals getting into the main box in our neighborhood. I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked squirrels can not tell time.
It’s not like these power outages last just a few minutes. They last hour upon hours. You would think they would have come up with a solution by now. It’s obviously not SQUIRRELS! Oh, and did I mention that we live in a brand new subdivision. Yeah, I’m thinking someone screwed things up majorly.
The point of this little rant is so that I can explain to you guys why it has taken me 6 hours to get this post published today! I really do apologize. I try to get things done in a timely manner, but sometimes it just does not work out that way.
Why yes, I am feeling better today! Thank you so much for asking! I still have lingering aches and pains which is why I’m stapling my sleeves to my sofa and not leaving until Monday morning. I’m slightly ok with this.
Before I head off into nap-ville, let’s talk about these cheesy scalloped potatoes with pancetta for just a second. Everything about them just screams “serve me this Thanksgiving!” They are super rich in cheesy flavor and the perfect layers just have you wanting more and more. Zach and I ate these for 3 days straight this week, and for someone who hates eating leftovers (me), I wasn’t disappointed. If they don’t knock you off your feet the first go around, the 2nd day they are even better, and on the third day they are even better than that.
A brown ale is the perfect pairing for bold cheeses such as sharp cheddars and monterey jack, and I love a brown ale for these scalloped potatoes with pancetta. This side dish is very bold and rich and although I do enjoy stouts with rich, bold dishes, I thought a stout would be a little too much. A brown ale really magnifies the cheesy flavor in these scalloped potatoes without taking away from the dish. The two compliment each other very nicely.
2 - 3 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup gruyere cheese, grated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
4 ounces pancetta, diced small and cooked until crisp
fresh parsley, chopped
First, prepare your sauce. In a large saucepan, add the butter. Melt over medium heat, and then whisk in the flour. Cook until the raw flour is cooked out and it is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, paprika, cayenne pepper, and a dash of salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Allow the mixture to thicken substantially, whisking frequently. This will take 5-6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. In very small amount (2-3 tablespoons), add the cheeses to the heavy cream mixture, whisking vigorously after each addition until all of the cheese has been added and the sauce is silky smooth. Leave the sauce placed over low heat while you prepare the rest of your casserole.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and spray a large 9x13 inch baking dish with a non-stick spray. Set aside.
To a large stockpot, add the potatoes. Fill the pot with just enough water that it covers the potatoes. Season with salt. Heat over high heat and bring the potatoes to a boil. Cook for 5-6 minutes until just tender, not mushy. Drain and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cheeses until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
To your prepared baking dish, add a layer of sliced potatoes, just so that they cover the bottom. Pour 1/3 of the cheese sauce on top and sprinkle 1/3 of the grated cheese on top of that. Repeat these steps 2 more times.
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and both bread crumbs. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle some black pepper on top. Spray the top with a non-stick canola oil spray.
Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly and the top is golden brown. Remove from heat and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle pancetta and fresh parsley on top. Serve immediately and enjoy!