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Lighthouse Inn Potatoes have tender slices of potatoes in a creamy sauce, sprinkled with a crunchy, salty, cheesy topping.
Lighthouse Inn Potatoes were originally served at the restaurant inside the now-closed Lighthouse Inn in New London, Connecticut.
The chef at the time prepared a version of this recipe (similar to Delmonico potatoes but using chopped instead of shredded potatoes) and it was such a favorite – long after the inn and restaurant closed – the Lighthouse Inn Potatoes recipe was shared in community cookbooks and newspapers for local families to enjoy around the holidays or any special family gathering.
We ran across this recipe while watching an episode of Cook’s Country, then found the recipe and a lot of the history online here.
Ashley Moore, from America’s Test Kitchen (parent company of Cook’s Country) and who grew up in New London, tweaked this Lighthouse Inn Potatoes recipe to include cooked and sliced potatoes in a wonderful cream sauce, and swapped in panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in the topping, replacing the finer-ground Italian bread crumbs of the original.
She also transformed the recipe from a two-day process, to just fifteen minutes of prep and forty-five minutes of baking time.
The result is melt-in-your-mouth potatoes in a luscious cream sauce, with a light and crunchy, cheesy bread crumb topping.
A few tips and tricks from Ashley for making Lighthouse Inn Potatoes as quoted here:
- “Follow the recipe.”
- “Make sure you’re using an oven thermometer, so you can know you’re actually baking at the temperature the recipe specifies.”
- “Use the light cream. Don’t substitute half-and-half. It will break.”
We think these Lighthouse Inn Potatoes are a perfect side dish to serve at any special meal – holidays, birthdays, or other special occasions. You might even consider making a double batch – they are so good!
You may enjoy these other potato recipes:
- Duchess Sweet Potatoes
- Potatoes O’Brien
- Herbed Boiled Potatoes
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
- Roasted French-Style Potatoes
3 cups light cream*, divided
2 ½ pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces (about 3–4 potatoes)
1/8th teaspoon baking soda
2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese, about 1 cup
1 cup plain Panko crumbs
11 tablespoons butter, divided
- In a medium pot or large sauce pan, place 2 ½ cups of the light cream. We used a heavy bottomed enamel coated pot to help with not sticking. A non-stick pot is recommended.
- Peel and cut potatoes into uniform one-inch chunks and place in the pan with the cream.
- Add baking soda, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and all of the black pepper. (Make sure you use both teaspoons of the salt.)
- Note: This next step has a sticking factor. Make sure you are stirring occasionally with a hard firm rubber spatula or a wooden spoon so they don’t stick to the bottom as you bring them to a boil and simmer.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat then lower to the lowest setting on your burner and cook 20-25 minutes or until a paring knife inserted into a chunk of potato slides in but meets a little resistance. The potatoes will cook further in the oven and do not need to be completely cooked at this stage. Ours were ready in 22 minutes.
- While potatoes cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place a rack in the center of the oven.
- Use one tablespoon of the butter and grease a 9X13 baking dish. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix grated Parmesan cheese, Panko crumbs, 4 tablespoons of the butter that has been melted and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt.
- Remove the potatoes from the heat once ready and add in the remaining half cup of light cream and six tablespoons of the butter that has been cut into six pieces. Stir gently until the butter has melted in.
- Pour the potato mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the panko mixture.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly and the top has browned. After baking for 20 minutes, we moved the dish up to our broiler and browned the top a bit more.
- Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.
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*Do not use half and half.