Easter Dinner, Part II: Creamy Scalloped Potatoes and Stir-fried String Beans

I’m a little late posting Part II of our Easter dinner!  Life has been nuts.  C’est la vie.  If you missed Part I of this dinner, which involved our perfectly glazed ham, be sure to check it out!

We cooked Easter dinner for my brother, Cory, and sister-in-law, Casey.  Cory loves scalloped potatoes, so when I saw an extra-creamy scalloped potato recipe in the Food Network magazine, I knew I had to try it.  We also served my favorite green beans in the world.  My family’s not really big on green bean casseroles, so this is something that my Dad tried once and we’ve just stuck to it.  It’s so easy and only involve two ingredients, so I’m not even sure if they qualify as a “recipe.”  I’m going to split up the scalloped potato recipe and the green bean recipe to make this post easier to read!

Extra-Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
Courtesy of the Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
– 3 cups heavy cream
– 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
– 1 bay leaf
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– Kosher salt and ground white pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Wash the potatoes thoroughly.

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes.  We cheated and used the slicer/shredder attachment for our KitchenAid stand mixer for the first time.  Never going back.  That attachment is amazing, and I don’t know how we just neglected it in our pantry for so long!

Place the sliced potatoes in a large pot on the stove.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, flour, bay leaf, nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon white paper. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes, and cook over medium heat.

Occasionally stir the potatoes for approximately 12 minutes, until the cream is brought just to a simmer.  Continue to simmer, adjusting the heat if necessary, and stirring the potatoes to prevent their bottoms from scorching.  Do this for approximately five more minutes until the potatoes just begin to soften.

Spray a baking or casserole dish with cooking spray or brush it with butter.  Transfer the potato mixture into the dish and discard the bay leaf.  In order to minimize burning, set the dish into a larger baking dish or roasting pan, and add enough water to come about halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

Bake the potatoes for approximately one hour until they are tender and golden brown. Remove the baking dish from the water bath and let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

These potatoes were heavenly.  I normally don’t like scalloped potatoes because sometimes they get all crunchy and dry.  These were extremely creamy and delicious.  I’ll definitely be making these again!
Stir-fried Green Beans
Courtesy of mi padre

Ingredients:
– A boat load of fresh, raw green beans
– Approximately two or three tablespoons of oyster sauce
I know what you’re thinking.  Oyster sauce?  Yuck!  Trust me.  I have serious cravings for these green beans.  In fact, I’ll probably make them tonight.  Oyster sauce makes them sweet, savory, and wonderful.  It’s a perfect combination, and they are meant to be with one another.  So humor me, go to an Asian food market, buy some oyster sauce, and just try it sometime.  🙂
Start by thoroughly washing the green beans and patting them dry.

Using a sharp knife, cut off all of the ends.  My Dad also taught me a neat trick:  Slice the middle of each green bean at a diagonal angle to cut the bean in two.  This helps them cook faster and more evenly.

Heat some olive oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat.  Toss in the green beans and cook, covered, for approximately 10-15 minutes.  Be sure to stir the beans well, especially in the first five minutes, to avoid burning. I actually burnt my string beans for this dinner because I was too busy yakking with my family and not paying attention!  Please ignore the burn marks in the photos!


Once the beans are tender, lower the temperature, pour in the oyster sauce, and stir well so that all the beans are coated nicely with the sauce.  Cook the beans for a minute or two longer, then enjoy!

Ah, these are my favorite.  I really can’t get enough of them.  I usually make enough of these green beans for a small army so that I’ll have them for leftovers, too.  Hope you’ll give them a try!

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