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Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

scalloped potatoes recipeI had a bunch of people over for dinner last weekend and served skirt steak and scalloped potatoes with a green salad and crusty bread...simple and oh so good. I had all the guests clamoring for the scalloped potato recipe! This dish is so easy to make, very satisfying and you probably have all the ingredients on board already. Although there is no substitute for fresh ingredients, we all know that we have to compromise living on a boat. Fresh cream and cheese is always a challenge to keep onboard so I used tinned "Media Crema" from Nestle and Kraft's Parmesan cheese in a bottle and it worked out just wonderfully with the same rich creamy taste as the "real thing". The nutmeg (one of my most favorite spices and I use it all the time) gives the dish a nice nutty flavor with just a hint of sweet, while the thyme compliments the woody, earthy flavor of the potatoes. (Carolyn from The Boat Galley has some great recipes and uses for Media Crema). 

1 1/2 8-ounce cans Media Crema or 1 1/2 cups fresh heavy cream if available
3 bay leaves
Dash of thyme or a small sprig if you have fresh thyme.
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Butter
2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup Kraft Parmesan cheese or freshly grated Parmesan cheese if available.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Add the following ingredients together in a saucepan and heat up over low heat and simmer for a few minutes. Cream, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper. (Warming the cream mixture, helps the cooking process along and brings out the flavors of the spices).

While heating up the cream, butter a casserole dish. Remove the bay leaves (and tyme sprigs if applicable) from cream. Pour the heated cream into a large bowl with the potato slices and mix to coat the potatoes. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the potatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon a bit of cream into the bottom of the caserole dish and arrange the potatoes in the dish evenly for uniform cooking time. Pour the remaining cream over the top. Top with some more Parmesan cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Pull back one corner for the steam to escape. Bake for 40 minutes. It should have a nice golden crust.

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