Potato au Gratin is one of those dishes that you may have ordered from a restaurant too many times to count, but it may be likely that you’ve never had it at home. Well, at least that was the case for us, not counting the boxed versions our respective parents may have whipped up long ago. No offense to Betty Crocker, but it was time to experience the homemade, from scratch variety of this dish. Instead of scouring the web for recipe suggestions and inspiration, for once, I reached for my towering book shelf. Chrystal and I have dozens of cookbooks that make for lovely decoration, but shamefully, they are not used as often as they should be in the kitchen. That’s all about to change.
In The Oprah Magazine Cookbook, there was a potato gratin recipe just screaming to be made. This version incorporated a combination of two types of potatoes, white and sweet. It sounded interesting! The final product made for a rich, lightly sweet, cheesy delight. You’ll find two types of mustards in this recipe, and together, they were surprisingly subtle from the first taste. If you love the tangy flavor of mustard, try adding a third–whole grain perhaps–to really play off the cheese. The addition of fresh herbs like thyme or parsley would take this baby to a new level, giving Betty Crocker a run for her money.
Two Potato Gratin – Serves 8 (adapted from The Oprah Magazine Cookbook)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Ground pepper, to taste
Dash of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 pound white potatoes, peeled and sliced into thick rounds
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thick rounds
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add butter to a cast iron skillet or a ceramic baking dish and place in oven as it preheats. Once butter is mostly melted, remove from oven and set aside, spreading evenly around the pan.
2. In a large, shallow pan, heat half-and-half with the salt, pepper to taste, nutmeg and ancho chili powder and bring to a low simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Add both types of potato slices and let simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and carefully fold in the mustards, being careful not to break the potatoes.
3. Using a slotted spoon, scoop half of the potatoes into the baking dish and spread them out as evenly as possible. Top with half of the cheese. Add the remaining potatoes and pour the seasoned cream on top followed by the remaining cheese.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and potatoes are fully cooked. Serve warm.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.
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