It’s not just decorative gourd season, it’s melty cheese season. And boy, is it ever.
Last week, I extolled the merits of Switzerland’s tiniest mountain cheese, the mighty-smelling Tête de Moine. He’s just one of many cheeses waiting to grace your table in liquefied form with drippy deliciousness.
There’s also Raclette, Morbier, Emmental, Gruyere, Comte, and Beaufort, for starters. But while all of these cheeses want to join the hot-tub party on your stove top—or in your fondue pot, as fate may have it—I suggest you suspend all such future meal planning until you have made scalloped potatoes with a mountain of Tête de Moine melted all over them.
Like seriously, though.
Not only did I receive a Girouette this year, upon which to make dashing rosettes of Tête de Moine and chocolate, but I also very recently received a spiralizer attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer. (The rest is history, you know.)
Since both zucchini season and summer are no longer with us, the very first thing I made with my spiralizer had to involve potatoes. And since I happened to have a quarter-wheel of Tête de Moine patiently waiting in the refrigerator, a divine match was made.
I will preface this recipe by stating that yes, you can use any cheese you damn well please to make these scalloped potatoes. You can even use Brie, if you want to be sacrilegious—as many a stubborn and unadventurous cheese-counter customer is wont to be when it comes to turning cheese molten as quickly as possible. But if you can, please—PLEASE—try this first with Tête deMoine.
You won’t want to try it any other way.
Scalloped Potatoes with Tête de Moine
- 3 pounds of potatoes, peeled and sliced or spiralized
- 3 Tablespoons of butter
- 3 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 0.5 cups of milk
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 0.5 teaspoons of smoked paprika
- 2 cups of shaved Tête de Moine (or other melting cheese of your choice, shaved or grated)—divided into 1 cup for the cheese sauce and 1 cup for the top
- 0.25 to 0.5 cups of panko bread crumbs
- Dash(es) of paprika for color
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9×5 baking dish.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Mix in the flour until it’s well-blended, then whisk in the milk.
Add salt, cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika, then cook the sauce on low until it starts to boil—probably five to 10 minutes, stirring from time to time so that the milk doesn’t burn.
While the sauce is cooking, use your Girolle or Girouette to curl the Tête de Moine into rosettes, dividing it into two one-cup portions. If you don’t have a curler, you can use a planer or food processor to shave the cheese, as well. You can use more cheese if you have more; be daring.
Once the sauce comes to a boil, add in 1 cup of the cheese, reduce the heat, and stir until the cheese is totally melted.
Layer half of the potatoes in the baking dish so that they are placed as evenly as possible. Pour half of the cheese sauce over the potatoes, then gently mix the sauce around so that all of the potatoes are covered.
Layer the other half of the potatoes into the dish, pour the rest of the sauce over them, and repeat mixing the sauce and potatoes to ensure complete cheese-sauce coverage.
Distribute the rest of the shaved cheese over the top of the casserole, and then cover the cheese with bread crumbs. Sprinkle paprika over the top for added color and flavor.
Bake the casserole for about an hour, until the breadcrumbs are dark brown and the whole thing is bubbling. Be sure to pierce the potatoes with a fork to make sure they are soft before you try to call it done.
Let it cool just enough that you won’t burn your mouth, and serve it up. Bonus: leftovers only get better with age. Enjoy!