Here is where I confess I never had scalloped potatoes until about 4 years ago. I'm unsure how I went so long without ever trying this dish, but then I am one of those weirdos who never ate mac and cheese until high school.
A few years ago I was looking for a new way to cook potatoes and I did not own a masher/ricer/was tired of using a fork, so I was happy to find a super simple recipe for scalloped potatoes in one of my old cookbooks. I made it so much that I ended-up not needing the recipe anymore. Fast forward to today and I remembered the scalloped potatoes and went to look for the recipe. I have no freaking idea which of my cookbooks it is in, but I know it was from the 40s. Searches through their indexes have come-up with nothing. I luckily still memorize the recipe, but I won't be able to supply a source for it, unfortunately. If you know which cookbook this is from, please let me know.
This recipe is a bit different than most scalloped potatoes as it is on the dryer side. The milk creates a hold for the potatoes, not a liquid sauce. C says he's not a fan of the liquidy ones and prefers my crisper version, so hurrah for that. Oh yes, and there are no measurements, so I hope you can deal with that!
2-3 potatoes, Idaho style/size
about 2 tablespoons butter
salt & pepper
Butter a walled baking pan, like one you would use for lasagna. Any size is fine, just keep in mind that the thicker the final product is, the longer you have to cook it. Bonus points if your pan has a lid. Preheat over to 350°.
Peel and slice the potatoes. I slice the potatoes at about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness, but I'm not anal about it. Sometimes I misjudge how many potatoes I need for the pan I'm using, so cut as you go, one potato at a time.
Put down a good layer of potatoes. I do about two to three passes of overlapping slices. Add a couple of shakes salt and pepper. Dust a pinch of flour and then add some small bits of butter around. Keep doing this layer until you either run out of potatoes or are about a half an inch from the top of your pan. Sometimes I add a shred of cheese in the layers or a blend of seasonings; it just depends what I'm serving the dish with. Once you get to the top layer, add all the seasonings except the flour and cheese, if you are using that.
When you have your layers done, get your milk and pour it into the pan. You want the milk to reach halfway up the pan. If you go over, no big deal, but you may get some boil over. Try pouring the milk off to the side, against the pan wall, so as not to disturb all your layer seasoning. You can definitely peek through the cracks of your potato layers to see the milk level in the pan.
Put foil or a lid on your pan and bake in preheated oven for 45 mins. Then, remove foil/lid and bake for 15 mins more. At this lid removal phase, I tend to shred some cheese on top. The potatoes are done when the dish is tender enough to run a poke a knife through the center. Again, thicker/more potato layers mean a longer cooking time. Same with pan sizes. The last 15 mins is for getting the top all crispy, so you can gauge doneness after the first 45 min frame.
Hope you enjoy this super easy, no measure, recipe.