Is anyone else out there prepping for the holidays and don’t want the same old thing?!? I am hosting Thanksgiving this year and decided to switch up a few things. Since I already have mashed potatoes on the way, I decided to offer an alternate potato dish…this one with a kick. Most of my guests have volunteered to bring the basics. This leaves me room to play around 🙂 Why not kick it up a notch with some spicy jalapenos?!?
This all started with Hairbie’s refusal to eat scalloped potatoes. He insisted that he has always hated them…..challenge accepted! I knew I could make him like them as much as I do! He loves pepper flavor and spicy foods so it seemed natural to use pepper jack cheese and add some jalapenos.
In the past, I made jalapeno poppers and received a great response from friends. A trick I tried was slicing the jalapenos in half, removing the seeds and most of the inside membrane. Place them in very cold ice water for about 30 minutes. This takes the heat intensity down a few notches to tolerable (for me anyway). What you are left with is pepper flavor with a hint of heat. I also used shallots in place of onions for a bit of sweetness to balance with the heat.
Another trick with this recipe is one that you can skip if you like. I used the same method with the potatoes that I use for making baked french fries. You slice the potatoes, then soak in water for about an hour. This releases some of the starches so they will crisp up better. For this recipe, I sliced them, then stuck them in water for 1 hr. Then I took them out and dried them thoroughly before adding to the casserole dish.
The sauce for this recipe is fairly easy. I simply melted the butter with the shallots added some flour and whisked then cooked for a few minutes. Then added milk, pepper jack cheese, white cheddar and a small amount of cream cheese in a saucepan until melted smooth. Layer the potatoes and then add all to a shallow casserole dish. Or, take your time and play around like I did making mine more festive for Thanksgiving.
Jalapeno Popper Scalloped Potatoes
- 5-7 large potatoes Sliced thin
- 1 medium Jalapeno prepped and diced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 medium shallot diced
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups pepper jack cheese shredded
- 1 cup white cheddar cheese divided into 2 parts
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
Slice and prepare potatoes and set aside. Prep jalapenos and set aside. (both optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small saucepan melt butter and add shallots, cook for about 5 minutes. Add 2 tbsp flour and whisk mixture and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Add milk and pepper jack cheese cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the white cheddar cheese and heat over medium-low heat whisking occasionally. Once the mixture is smooth, turn off heat.
Line a casserole dish with a layer of potatoes. Then pour the cheese mixture over the top. Add another layer of potatoes and add the rest of the cheese mixture. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese.
Cover casserole dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
After 30 minutes, remove foil and check that potatoes are cooking well, almost soft and cheese isn't bubbling over. Place back in oven and bake for additional 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork.
If you like the top extra crispy, turn the heat of the oven up to 375 degrees for the last few minutes of bake time.
Prepping the potatoes and jalapenos is optional.
I used an 8 inch casserole dish for this recipe. The potatoes I used were small/medium red potatoes. Depending on how large your casserole dish is or how many potatoes you wish to make you can add more or less of milk & cheese to balance.
You can also layer more than two layers if you wish.
*I baked these potatoes in the oven with a cookie sheet under the casserole dish in case the cheese bubbled up and spilled in the oven.
Test that the potatoes are done by poking with a fork, if they are soft and easily pierced throughout, they are done. If they are still hard leave in oven a bit longer and retest after a few minutes.
So, I MADE Hairbie try them. I told him he only had to take one bite and not to worry I was going to bring the rest with me to coffee with friends the next morning. Since he made such a big stink that he hated scalloped potatoes, he didn’t comment on the potatoes. After devouring all the potatoes on his plate and claimed the rest for himself…..hmmm. Challenge complete I won!