Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mexican Scalloped Potatoes

Selecting potatoes as my featured ingredient was an easy choice for "From the Earth" week at I Heart Cooking Clubs.  The things grow in the dirt right?  Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen offered this recipe hidden within the pages of a recipe for Salsa Verde, which was an integral part of the potato recipe.

To help make dinner preparation a little quicker during the week, I made the salsa verde one evening after work.  With the salsa verde prepared the potatoes were easy to throw together for a weeknight meal. 

We started with new potatoes, salsa verde, cheese, & cream

After scrubbing and slicing, the potatoes received a toss of salt then half were placed in the baking dish.  The potatoes were topped with half the salsa verde, half the cream and half the cheese. 

You repeat the second layer with all of the ingredients in the same manner as the first.  Looks kind of grody doesn't it?  The salsa verde may not look appetizing but it's flavor holds a punch of citrus and zing that flavors these potatoes like nothing I've tasted.

After pouring the rest of the cream over the potatoes it may seem like there is a lot of liquid but it cooks down to a thick, rich and creamy sauce.

Baked for 30 to 35 minutes in a 400°F. oven the salsa verde, cream and cheese melded together to create a smoky, citrus-y tang of a sauce.

They paired up well with grilled butterflied pork chops.

Notes & Thoughts: 
These potatoes were very tasty and were a big hit with Lovey.
I did not use the chiles in the salsa verde, because Lovey won't eat anything with the spicy heat.  You'll also note that my baking dish was not 13" x 9" because I (as I often do) halved this recipe.  The recipe below is for a full recipe.

Mexican Scalloped Potatoes
Adapted from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen

3 pounds boiling potatoes I used red new potatoes
one recipe Salsa Verde (recipe below)
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups shredded Chihuahua or other melting cheese

Mise en Place:
  • scrub potatoes and dry
  • grate cheese
  • measure cream
Preheat oven to 400°F.  Slice potatoes into a large bowl and toss with salt.  Layer half of the potatoes in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.  Spread half of the salsa verde (about 3/4 cup) over the potatoes.  Pour half of the cream (3/4 cup) over the potatoes and sprinkle half the cheese.  Repeat with the remaining potatoes, sauce, cream and cheese.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until browned and the potatoes are tender.

Salsa Verde Cocida
1 pound (10 - 12 medium) tomatillos
Fresh serrano chiles to taste (roughly 3, 1/2 ounce total)
1-1/2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil or rich-tasting lard, divided no thank you on the lard
1 medium (6 ounce) white onion
2 large garlic cloves
2 cups chicken, beef or fish broth (depending on how the sauce is to be used) I used beef
1/3 cup cilantro
salt, 1/2 to 3/4 tsp, depending on the saltiness of the broth

Mise en place:
  • husk and rinse tomatillos
  • stem the chiles
  • peel and roughly chop the onion
  • peel and roughly chop the garlic
  • wash and roughly chop the cilantro
  • measure out your broth
You can roast the tomatillos and chiles, or boil them.  I chose to roast.
Lay the tomatillos and chiles on a baking sheet and place about 4 inches below a very hot broiler.  When the tomatillos and chiles blister, blacken and soften on one side, about 5 minutes, turn them over and roast the other side.  Transfer tomatillos., chiles, and any accumulated juices to a food processor or blender.

Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a deep, medium-large (9- or 10-inch) heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until deep golden, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer, then scrape the browned mixture into the processor or blender.  If using a blender, cover it loosely.  Now, pulse whatever machine you're using to reduce the ingredients to a rough-looking puree -- smooth enough to hold together, but rough enough to keep it from that uninteresting baby-food blahness.

Wipe the skillet clean, then heat the remaining 1/2 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high.  When hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle sharply, pour it in all at once and stir constantly for 4 to 5 minutes, as your sauce base sears and sizzles into a darker and thicker mass.  Stir in the broth, let return to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer briskly until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 10 minutes.  (You can check the consistency by spooning a little on a plate:  If it looks watery, solids separating quickly from the broth, simmer it longer; if it mounds thickly, stir in a little broth or water.)  Stir in cilantro, then taste and season with salt.

You can prepare this sauce 4 to 5 days ahead.  If frozen, whiz it in the blender or processor to get it back to a beautiful texture.

As Rick points out in his book, this sauce can be used for so many dishes whether it be fish or enchiladas.

I'm sharing this recipa at IHCC.  Wander over and check out everyone else's recipe choices for the week.


  1. Oh my. I have to make this for Charles - he would love it! Looks absolutely delicious.

  2. Oh my gosh. This takes scalloped potatoes to something divine. Yes, please!

  3. Youre potatoes look very creamy and Cheesy! Yum.

  4. Spicy cheesy goodness--you have me drooling. ;-) Such a great version of scalloped potatoes.

  5. Wow, Looks delicious! This would be a hit with my family, we love anything with potatoes!

  6. Gosh, this looks like a yummy dish - anything with salsa verde gets my attention.