Add Some Heat To Your Scalloped Potatoes With Canned Chiles

Fresh baked scalloped potatoes
Fresh baked scalloped potatoes - Irina Meliukh/Shutterstock

Golden, velvety, and oh-so-scrumptious, scalloped potatoes are a beloved casserole dish that can be served alongside just about any protein, from ham and roast beef to chicken, pork, and fish. Still, even a tried and true classic needs a little extra oomph now and again, and canned chiles may be just the thing to transform this familiar comfort food into a zesty flavor bomb.

For the uninitiated, scalloped potatoes consist of delicate, thinly sliced potatoes layered amidst an herbaceous, bubbling hot cream sauce. Though you may find yourself asking where the cheese is in this description, traditional scalloped potatoes don't call for either cheese or breadcrumbs. That's potatoes au gratin, which are similar and often conflated with scalloped potatoes.

A smattering of green chiles can add just the perfect punch of color and flavor to keep your potato game hustling — and it's as easy as opening a can. Canned green chiles are a perfect choice for the ultimate scalloped potatoes, precisely because they are mild, providing flavor (slightly sweet, a little smoky) and just a trace of heat, without losing any of that comforting vibe. In fact, this chile-spiked tater dish is a luscious reminder that when it comes to chiles it doesn't have to be hot to be flavorful. You can buy them diced for easy use, or chop them yourself for greater control over the amount of heat in every bite.

Read more: 21 Ingredients That Will Seriously Upgrade Your Mashed Potatoes

Chiles Give A Winning Boost To Scalloped Potatoes

Grocery shelf with canned chiles
Grocery shelf with canned chiles - Colleen Michaels/Shutterstock

A New Mexico favorite, scalloped potatoes with green chiles are reminiscent of (and possibly inspired by) a popular Mexican dish called papas con rajas (creamy potatoes cooked with strips or rajas of roasted poblano peppers in crema) often served as a side dish or taco filling.  Mild canned green chiles that work well include poblanos, Hatch, and Anaheim — the cans will often just say "mild green chiles". If you want to turn up the heat a bit look for canned Serranos or jalapeños.

To add canned green chiles to your scalloped potatoes, simply work them in throughout the layers of sliced potatoes. (Yukon gold potatoes work great and lend a nice butteriness, though red and russets work equally well.) Be sure to distribute the peppers evenly as you lay them out in the casserole pan.

Want it hotter? Try mixing in some of your favorite red chiles (most green varieties named above are just young, immature chiles that increase in heat and flavor as they ripen) and add a real spicy zing to your scalloped potatoes. You can even roast them yourself beforehand for a more vibrant take. Experiment with different peppers to find your desired heat levels and flavor, trying mild varieties like Fresno or red Hatch chiles, dried guajillo or ancho chiles, or kick up the heat with habanero or even Scotch bonnet if you've got a tongue of steel.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.