I made Scalloped potatoes the other evening, but it did get me to wonder, what was the difference between Scallop(ed) and Au Gratin.
For Gratin, Wikipedia states: “Gratin is a widely used culinary technique in food preparation in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter. Gratin originated in French cuisine and is usually prepared in a shallow dish of some kind. A gratin is baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish.
For Scalloped, Epicurious.com states: “scallop v. 1. To prepare a food (most notably potatoes) by layering slices of it with cream or a creamy sauce in a casserole. Scalloped foods are often topped with bread or cracker crumbs before being baked.
So, did you notice in the definitions, the words “is topped” regarding Au Gratin and in the definition for Scallop you find “often topped“. Those are the similarities and probably why people could get the two confused.
That may be the similarity, but we’re still looking for difference(s). For the definition of Scallop it reads, “with cream or a creamy sauce in a casserole”. The true difference that I have seen is that one (Scallop or Scalloped) uses a cream sauce within the casserole dish and the other, Au Gratin, does not.
There you have it. My recipe is as follows for Basic Creamy Scalloped Potatoes:
prep time: 15 minutes cook time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
4 large potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thin
1 red onion or sweet onion, sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
pinch ground black pepper
4 or 5 Tablespoons butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Layer the bottom of casserole dish with half potato slices.
Cover potatoes with layer of half of onion slices and then half of the cheese.
Repeat the layering process until all of the ingredients are used up.