Boursin Cheese Is Your Shortcut to The Creamiest Scalloped Potatoes
Which I learned after losing a battle of potato casseroles.
The holidays can be an emotional time for many families, and last year around Thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I had an all-out, drag-out battle that threatened the state of our relationship. It wasn't about finances, infidelity, or even that time he didn't order me a piece of coconut cake made by a James Beard Award-winning pastry chef at dinner (I don't hold grudges, though). No, this was a war over the humble potato. A battle of the spuds. A competition of casseroles. I'll cut to the part you already know: He beat me.
A year and a half out of college and feeling particularly grown-up, it seems that all of my friends decided to throw real Friendsgiving gatherings last year. We weren't going to pick up macaroni and cheese from the Piggly Wiggly (though it is delicious) or cranberry sauce from a can. This year, we were going to make everything from scratch and wash it all down with $12 bottles of wine, like adults. I had two Friendsgivings to attend and knew immediately what recipe I wanted to bring. My mom and I make a sweet potato casserole every Thanksgiving that's not your usual marshmallow-topped variety of the dish. This one has chopped sweet potatoes and Granny Smith apples, Craisins, and a cinnamon-and brown sugar-tossed oatmeal crumble on top that's to die for. Everyone we've made it for praises its sweetness, crunch, and uniqueness. Not that Friendsgiving is a competition or anything, but I was going to win with this recipe. As a Southern Living employee, I felt it was my responsibility to show up with a beautiful, delicious dish that, if anyone happened to be taking score, would be the winner.
After I volunteered my sweet potato casserole, my boyfriend chimed in and said that he, too, would be making a potato casserole. We didn't want any repeat dishes in the sideboard lineup, but he clarified that his potato casserole would be scalloped potatoes made with Yukon gold potatoes, so it was vastly different than mine. I thought, "Scalloped potatoes! Everyone has had those before. My dish will be new and different."
I couldn't have been more incorrect. The scalloped potatoes recipe that his family had been using for decades wasn't any old thing. His dish had a secret ingredient that would be my gorgeous casserole's worst nightmare: Boursin cheese.
You usually think of Boursin as the delicious, albeit last-minute, appetizer you throw out with a few crackers for drop-by guests, but melted down with heavy whipping cream and added to a potato casserole? Totally divine. If you have a scalloped potato casserole recipe you already love, simply add in a "cake" of Boursin cheese to the whipping cream. It's the ultimate secret ingredient for creamy spuds.
So at two separate Friendsgiving parties, I watched my friends "ooh" and "aah" over how melty, creamy, incredibly indulgent my boyfriend's potato casserole was and pat me on the back and tell me how mine showcased the season's flavors incredibly well. I took home a container of leftovers while he left with a clean casserole dish. I know you think I sound like a sore loser, but it's all in good fun. I got the biggest plate of Boursin-laden scalloped potatoes of anyone, and I accepted my defeat gracefully and tactfully. I will absolutely be the one assigning dishes for Friendsgiving this year.
WATCH: How to Make Classic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes
Southern Living's Scalloped Potato recipe might not have Boursin in it, but it does have parmesan cheese, which no Friendsgiving guest would ever complain about. Get the recipe here.