[Recipe!] Potatoes au gratin

Potatoes au gratin, nicely presented

Potatoes au gratin, nicely presented
Credit: Stuart Spivack, Flickr.

Au gratin comes from the French word meaning “with something grated” or “smothered in delicious cheese.” Potatoes au gratin is a perfect winter stand-by because it’s super easy, infinitely variable, and afterwards only requires the washing of one dish. Gratins traditionally are layered potato slices, covered with milk and/or cream, and topped with cheese. In this recipe I added herbs and middle layer of cheese, but it could easily accommodate anything from sautéed greens to mushrooms, even different kinds of root veggies. It’s also excellent the next morning with poached eggs.

Ingredients

Prepping the potatoes au gratin

Prepping the potatoes au gratin.
Credit: Prêt à Voyager, Flickr.

6 medium potatoes
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
1 cup shredded cheese (I often use a combo of gruyere and raclette cheese; you could also use parmesan, swiss, even blue cheese if you’re feeling wild)
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash potatoes and slice as thin as you can get ’em.
  2. In a casserole dish or a large pie pan, layer potatoes so they are just overlapping.
  3. After two full layers of potatoes, sprinkle salt, pepper, 1/2 tbsp Herbes de Provence, and some of the cheese. (If you’re feeling really indulgent you can do that after each layer of potatoes, it’s up to you!)
  4. Continue layering and adding seasoning and cheese until top layer of potatoes. Don’t add cheese to the top layer, yet . . .
  5. Combine milk and cream and pour over potatoes into dish. It should reach just below the top layer of potatoes. If it doesn’t, add a bit more milk or cream.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until liquid has thickened and potatoes are tender.
  7. After 10 or 15 minutes, press down top layer of potatoes so that they are submerged in liquid.
  8. After 25 minutes, now add last layer of cheese to the top!
  9. Let cool 10 minutes before serving in baking dish. Serves 4-6.
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