Remember my buy one get one sale on onions. Welcome to 10 pounds of potatoes. Luckily, I went to a potluck with a few co-workers (yes, I totally feel smug typing that) and I brought along the starch.
Now I'm pretty sure the last time I made potatoes au gratin, I lived in Tifton. I'm also pretty sure the cheese sauce for this recipe tastes a gajillion times better than the whole pan of those other ones. Why did I never think of throwing a cheesy bechamel on sliced potatoes? Why don't I ever think of potatoes au gratin period?
I used this recipe as a jumping off point and threw together my basic cheese sauce for a topping. Let's start with four potatoes, peeled and sliced. Throw half in the bottom of a cassarole dish. Throw them in a big one if you'll be jostling it around the company frige for half the day.
Now start melting 4-5 T of butter in a skillet over med-high. Add the same amount of flour and whisk until a satisfying mustard color. Whisk in 3 cups of dairy. I needed to use up my heavy cream, so I thinned it with water. Then chuck in two pinches of salt, a dash of the following: pepper, chili pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Dump in about 2 cups of cheese and stir until smooth. I used colby-jack this time and WOW was it awesome.
Pour half your sauce over the potatoes in your dish. Arrange the rest of the potato slices and top with remaining sauce.
Bake at 400F for 1 hour covered with foil. After 1 hour, cover with breadcrumbs and Parm, or more cheese, and bake uncovered for another half an hour.
Serve to friends and be rowdy.