This past week, the bfd Clan took a grand tour of the upper midwest, including a couple extra days in Chicago. Mrs. bfd and The Boy were up in Wisconsin for a thing, and my daughter and I joined them in the Windy City, which wasn't really all that windy.
Honestly, I found the food there pretty meh. We Yelped all the restaurants we visited, picking some well-rated ones, but I wasn't blown away by anything. The lobster ravioli at Mama Milano's was excellent, but the rest was kinda just fine. The non-restaurants we visited, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and especially the Museum of Science and Industry, were all fantastic.
So, if you've been wondering about my absence lately, there ya go. Well, there's that and work, which is a good thing!
We all know some inventions were discovered completely by accident, and the recipe below is such a case. I was trying to make a hobo pack of potatoes on the grill. No bigs, nothing fancy. However, I left the pack on the bottom grill too long, and it burned the potatoes. Oops! The upper potatoes were great, but the lower ones were toast. My mother in law, who's not a bad cook herself, then mentioned I should use parchment paper the next time.
That's when the idea hit me, and after evolving further, here are the best potatoes you'll ever make on your grill.
bfd' Grilled Scalloped Potatoes
Two pounds potatoes, thinly sliced (thinnest setting on your mandolin thin)
1/2 stick butter, cut into thirds, then cut smaller to distribute
1/2 lb smoked provolone or the cheese of your choice
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
One key to this recipe is getting the parchment and aluminum foil right, as silly as that sounds. Lay down a piece of foil, then a piece of parchment paper on top. Depending on how much you're making, this might be fairly long, but the foil needs and must be able to seal correctly once folded over.
Grease the parchment with olive oil, then stack a third of the potatoes as evenly as possible within. Salt and pepper, layer of a third of the cheese, a third of the butter in blocks, and repeat twice more. Got it? Once everything is in the packet, seal it well with the parchment and foil. This is super, super important to keep the moisture in.
Place this directly on the grill over medium heat. Your mileage may vary, but in my grill, I start checking it at about 30 minutes. The test is, if it feels much lighter and it all comes up at once when you pick it up with tongs - it doesn't droop - then it's done. If it's still droopy, it needs more time.
Basically, what we're doing is frying the bottom potatoes to create a crunchy layer with LOL buttery cheesy goodness on top. Like, you know, scalloped potatoes with a crust. What I normally do is get it to the point where the packet all comes up together, droop-free, and then I let it go five more minutes.
I've found the best way to serve once it's ready is to take it out of the parchment very carefully to keep it intact and place on a platter. Then, I'll cut squares out of it, or you can do whatever.
When serving, I'll add sour cream, green onions, and bacon, of course. You could also make this with bacon in the first go, but since I like to save my precious grease, I prefer to bake my bacon.
Feel free to chat about anything, though standard rules do apply. Please do remember to remove your pants before joining. It's just embarrassing otherwise.