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Cast Iron Scallop Potatoes

From South Cumberland Farmer's Market

<p>Late fall and winter is a wonderful time to use root veggies from our local suppliers.</p> <p>Our family loves to find new ways to enjoy new takes on classic dishes. One of our favorites is scallop potatoes. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.</p>
Source: Cline Family Recipe Book (Entered by Lee and Jen Cline)
Serves: 6-8

8 large Long potatoes (about 5 1/2-in. long)
1 tablespoon black pepper (1/2 while cooking, 1/2 at the end.
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt (can cut in 1/2 if on DASH)
3 tablespoons Olive oil 
3 tablespoons salted butter 
1 cup White onion (sliced vertically)
1 tablespoon garlic cloves (mashed or minced)
1 Large thyme sprig 
1 teaspoon All-purpose flour 
1 1/2 cups Heavy cream
1 1/2 cups Gruyère or Swiss cheese (grated)
2 tablespoons Chopped fresh chives

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Peel potatoes; cut off tops and bottoms to make flat ends. Cut potatoes in half crosswise to make 2 (roughly 2-inch tall) pieces from each potato. Sprinkle 1 end of potatoes with salt. Heat oil and butter in a large, 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add potatoes, standing them on their salted end. Cook, basting with butter mixture periodically, until well browned, 8 to 9 minutes. Flip potatoes and cook other end, basting periodically, until browned, 8 to 9 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a plate to let cool down.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Add onion, garlic, and thyme to skillet over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Stir in cream, and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Stir in cheese, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to melt before adding more.
  3. Return potatoes to skillet, standing them on their end; cover with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Plate as a meal or side, sprinkle with chives and pepper, serve with sauce.