Viognier is known as one of Virginia’s staple white grapes. It’s true origin is unknown, but it is believed to have originated in what is now present-day Croatia. In France, Viognier gained its popularity in the Rhône Valley after being presumably brough in by the Romans. Now you can find Viognier being grown in almost every corner of the world.
Our Viognier is a single varietal, barrel fermented, rich white wine with citrus and stone fruit aromatics. It has notes of peach and honey before a long and lingering marmalade finish.
When thinking if a recipe I wanted to pair with Viognier, I had two options. I could either go the sweeter dessert route or the savory, creamy, rich route. I landed on scalloped potatoes, something that I haven’t made from scratch before. I played around with a few recipes and developed this somewhat fool proof recipe that will be sure to impress.
· 3lbs russet potatoes
· 1/4c butter
· 1 large onion
· 1/4c flour
· 2c milk
· 1c chicken broth
· 2 cloves garlic
· Salt, to taste
· Pepper, to taste
· 2c shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
· Parsley to garnish
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add in finely diced and minced garlic. Cook until the onion has softened or 3 minutes. Add flour and stir to combine. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes or until flour has absorbed the butter.
Reduce heat to low and combine your milk and chicken broth in a separate bowl. Slowly add in broth and milk mixture in small increments, whisking in between, allowing mixture to thicken between addition.
Once all liquid has been added, continue whisking and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
Using a mandolin and extreme caution, slice your washed potatoes to an 1/8th in thickness. In a greased 9x13” pan, place one layer of sliced potatoes in the bottom, using about one third of the potatoes. Pour over a third of the cream sauce in an even layer. Repeat this process until you have used all ingredients, ending with the sauce.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 40 minutes.
Take potatoes out of the oven and set the oven to broil. Sprinkle over the cheddar cheese in an even layer and broil for 3 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crisp.
Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving and garnish with finely chopped parsley.
Hint: You can also completely prepare this dish the day before and reheat it in the oven before serving to save time the day of! You can also prepare this dish well ahead of time and freeze it. To prepare for freezing, fully cook the dish without adding the cheddar cheese and broiling, and let cool completely. Before you place in the freezer, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cooked potatoes to prevent freezer burn. Let potatoes unthaw and bake at 350F until warmed through, add cheese, and broil!