My favourite thing at Christmas, second only to watching Love Actually in a Christmas jumper despite the 30 degree heat, is when Mum makes scalloped potatoes. Call me a pleb, and I'd probably agree with you, but there is something so delightful about eating potatoes and cream with reckless abandon and zero *cares* for tomorrow's physique, because these are the sorts of things Christmas permits.
As if potatoes in cream weren't decadent enough, I decided to experiment with what would happen if I added sage butter and nutmeg to the mix. Great things, as it turns out. The sauce is runnier than the traditional scallop potato, which is great, because it can be rather joyously added atop your own potato without being stuck with the merely the sauce attached to it from cooking. Ya feel.
Apologies for the basic photos but I was in a rush to go and watch Love Actually, adorned in a Christmas jumper despite the 30 degree heat (see opening sentence) and I deemed that far more important than photographing cooked potatoes, but also felt I needed to share the festive glory is that is the hasselback scallop potato with sage butter and nutmeg.
5 large Desiree potatoes (you want an oval shape as opposed to a circle - makes it easier to create the hasselback-ness) - about 1.25-1.5kg
300ml cooking cream (I tried it with others and it separated, shock)
75g salted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 cloves of garlic
15g finely chopped sage, plus extra to serve
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (I used about half a nutmeg) ((easy to buy whole nutmeg from supermarkets))
Optional: about 20g freshly grated cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Take each potato and create super thin, tiny cuts about 3/4 of the way through the potato. The bottom needs to remain in tact - the aim is to go as far down as possible without chopping the potato in half. Google if you need to, my explanation is terrible. Repeat with the other potatoes, and put them in a baking dish that is just big enough to fit them in. You want the sauce to be as thick as possible later.
3. Give the potatoes a spray of olive oil, and put them in the oven for 20-30 minutes, checking and re-spraying intermittently. You don't want them to get dry.
4. 10 minutes before the timer goes off, melt your butter in a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Once that has happened, add the chopped sage, and stir intermittently until the sage starts to become crispy. Add the crushed garlic cloves, and continue to stir. Once the garlic is cooked (ensuring neither the sage nor garlic burns) remove the butter from the heat, and add the salt, nutmeg, and finally the cream. Give it a good stir, and return to the heat, turned to low, to infuse the flavours into the cream.
5. Remove the potatoes from the oven, and pour over the cream mixture. Make sure you coat each potato, and have plenty of cream on the base. Return to the oven and set the timer for 20-30 minutes.
6. Continue checking on the potatoes until they are the level of brown you enjoy. For a decadent finish, sprinkle some grated cheese over the top, and pop under the grill for 3-4 minutes. HEAVEN.