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Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes With Fresh Ramps

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Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS
4-5 large white potatoes
1 pkg bacon
1 - 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh ramps
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbs fresh chopped thyme
cracked black pepper

METHOD
I'm using an 8 x 8-inch baking dish today and you can gauge the amount of potatoes you'll need by putting a layer of potatoes in that and then preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For that size pan, crisp up 4-5 diced slices of bacon and, while that's going along, rinse the ramps really well under cold water.

Because the ramps are wild you want to rinse them thoroughly to remove any dirt and then cut the root ends off of a few at a time and cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces.

I ended up with about 1 - 1 1/2 cups of chopped ramps and, once the bacon is crisp and out of the pan, pour off about half of the rendered bacon fat and saute the ramps to soften and turn the heat off.

Add 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup chicken stock to a large mixing bowl and cut the potatoes in half and then crosswise into slices no more than 1/8-inch thick...adding them to the bowl as you go.

Add an optional 1 tbs of fresh chopped thyme...add a good crack of black pepper, add the crispy bacon and the sauteed ramps and toss to combine.

Carefully transfer that to the buttered 8 x 8-inch pan, pressing the potatoes down, and then cover with aluminum foil and place into the oven on top of a baking tray.

Once the potatoes have been in the oven for about one hour, carefully pull the tray out, take the aluminum foil off and sprinkle on about 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese.

Place that underneath the broiler to melt the cheese.

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