Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Potato Gratin

This is a great dish for just a regular steak night, like we had tonight, but fancy enough to be a holiday dinner side dish with guests.  I was excited when I saw it in the newest issue of Martha Stewart Living, since I just got a mandoline as an early Christmas gift.  We already own a standard one -- it wasn't sharp enough to slice vegetables properly but it was sharp enough to slash our fingers.  It's collecting dust.  This ceramic blade mandoline is less fancy and doesn't come with a standing end and all sorts of blades, but it does exactly what I want it to.  The potatoes slice up just thin enough to layer in a creamy sauce topped with a cheesy crust.  And it's very possible that for the first time mashed potatoes might take a hiatus from my Christmas table in favor of another potato dish!

Potato Gratin
From Martha Stewart Living January 2010 Issue
Serves 6
2½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (I had Russets, which worked fine)
1 garlic clove, halved
1½ cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk (I used 1%)
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated, about 1 cup (I had white cheddar on hand)

Preheat oven to 375°.  Peel potatoes, and place in a bowl of water to prevent discolorng.  Rub inside of a 9-by-12-inch oval baking dish with cut sides of garlic.  Heat cream, milk, nutmeg, and 1½ teaspoons salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around edge.  Season with pepper.  Remove from heat.

Meanwhile slice potatoes ⅛ inch thick; transfer to a bowl.  Pour warm cream mixture over top.  Mix well, using your hands to separate and coat potatoes, then transfer to prepared dish.  Gently push potatoes down, and pour cream mixture from bowl over top.  Sprinkle with Gruyere.  Bake (with a baking sheet placed on the rack below to catch drips) until potatoes are fork tender and top is bubbling and brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

A mandoline helps you create thin, uniform slices.

In dish before cream is poured on top.

Cheesy and crunchy on top.

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