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Easy Cheesy Potato Gratin

June 13, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Recipe of the Day

My potato gratin

The photo from Bon Appétit

THE RECIPE: Scalloped Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin with Fresh Herbs
Bon Appétit November 2008

Prep Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Would I make this again?: Yes, yes, a thousand time yes! I’ve decided this is my contribution to Thanksgiving this year.

This potato gratin is just terrific.  TERRIFIC.  If you were in the Eastern part of Los Angeles last week when I tried this recipe, you might have heard some shouting–that was me on the rooftops.

I have always been a gratin fan, even the ones that come out of box (yes, I admitted that), but a gratin with quality ingredients may just be the most comforting food out there.  This one is a little different because it uses yams in addition to buttery Yukon Gold potatoes. (A friend of mine who doesn’t like yams asked how yam forward this dish was, and I assured him it wasn’t too much. The yams are tasty, but just become part of the larger cheesy herbal goodness that will make your heart sing.)

This dish is also a snap to make–if you’re equipped.  It’s essential
that you have a mandolin, and I would recommend a terrific chef’s knife
for all the herbs.  The herbs in question are parsley, sage, rosemary
and thyme.

First the potatoes and yams are sliced into
1/8-inch rounds.  My mandolin is old, so instead of trying to adjust the
width of the slice, I let sleeping dogs lie. As my mandolin would
say, “I Yam what I Yam.”  I think my slices were 1/8-inch thick, but I
can’t make any promises.  I had some leftovers, so you could get away
with just a little less than the called-for three pounds of potatoes.

the taters are sliced into bowls of cold water, the cream, butter and
garlic are brought to a simmer and Gruye re is grated.  I love Gruyere,
but boy, oh boy, is that a pungent cheese!  Once everything is prepped,
the potatoes must be drained and lightly dried.  My fingers were very
starchy after this. I probably could have hung wallpaper with my bare
hands.  The potato slices get spread out on the bottom of a 9 1/2″ x 13″
glass baking dish and sprinkled with half of a salt and pepper
mixture.  Then they are sprinkled with herbs and half of the cheese.  One
repeats that with the remaining ingredients.  Then the cream mixture
gets poured over the layers.  My garlic got kind of clumpy (technical
term) so I spread it out over the top layer of the gratin.  The recipe
warns that the cream might not cover all the potatoes, if that’s the
case just lightly press on the gratin to submerge it the best you can.
That worked just fine.

Then the gratin gets tightly covered with
foil and baked at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  After that, the foil is
removed and it bakes for another 25.

A WARNING: when I pulled
the foil off the gratin MOLTEN GRUYERE hit my ankle in the space between
my leggings and ballet flats (some trends become classics) and it
really hurt. So, be careful when removing the foil.  After another 25
minutes it looked and smelled DIVINE.  I let it rest for about 15
minutes and it was still plenty hot and extremely delicious, it was
unnerving it was so delicious. My mind exploded.  I started doing Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from Ulysses.  How did I live before I ate this

Just so you know, I made BA’s creme fraiche roasted salmon and a salad to go along with it.  Great combo, but I think we know what stole the show.

Villeroy & Boch Tableware

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