Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Cheese and Potatoes....Cheese and Potatoes.....!!!!!!!!!
Au gratin potatoes pair perfectly with steaks, baked fish and a juicy roast chicken. There are an endless variety of twists to au gratins. After the basic recipe that I blog here, I have added three simple twists to making specialty au gratin dishes.
Russet potatoes are best for baking, sweet potatoes can be a nice option....but smaller ones like baby red and yukon are better for boiling. Skin on or skin off the potatoes...you choose.
Just about any cheese will work if you can shred it like cheddar or crumble it like bleu or goat cheese.
2 lb medium russet potatoes thinly sliced
1/2 cup Vidalia onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 tbl olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups milk
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese shredded
1/4 cup Fontina cheese shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook the potatoes in lightly salted boiling water for about 5 minutes and drain. In a saute pan with olive oil cook onion and garlic until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Stir in milk and cook until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat.
In a greased 3 quart casserole pot, ceramic or glass works best, layer half the potatoes. (A large cast iron skillet woks as well.). Pour half the sauce over the potatoes. Sprinkle half the cheese on top of the sauce. Repeat with remaining potatoes, sauce. Reserve extra cheese to add during baking.
Bake covered for about 30 minutes and then uncover and add remaining cheese. Bake 30 minutes more until potatoes are tender and the top is golden. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.
Twists!!! Use the same basic recipe above but add these special twists.
1. Granny Smith and Smoked Cheddar Gratin: Slice 2 large Granny Smith apples. Place them on top of the layer of potatoes and substitute smoked cheddar or gouda for the original recipe cheeses. Add a couple of teaspoons of fresh thyme to the sauce.
2. Seafood and Goat Cheese Gratin: Layer thin sliced smoked salmon or whitefish to the first layer of potatoes. Substitute goat cheese for original recipe cheeses. Add a tablespoon of tarragon to the sauce. Serve with a side of vegetables and this makes a meal.
3. Mushroom and Bleu Cheese Gratin: Cook 3 cups of sliced cremini mushrooms with onion and garlic. Add some fresh sage to the sauce. Substitute bleu cheese for original recipe cheeses.
Love these


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