Scalloped Potato Gratin

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So my mom put me in charge of the potatoes this year for Christmas dinner. She also put me in charge of roasting two fillets of salmon (which totally freaked me out). I’ve made this recipe in the past with success, but I constantly lose the recipe with my notes, so every time I make this, it feels like the first time.

The biggest and only change to this recipe is the cheese. I use a combination of Raclette and Jarlsberg. I wanted something sharp, yet creamy. And I use way more than half a cup. I really like cheese.

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My favorite part of the recipe is that I get to use my mandolin. It is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. Everything slices so evenly!

Putting together the gratin is pretty standard. The only issue I have is trying to decide how much salt and pepper to put on each potato layer. I’m always afraid of putting too much, or not enough. And then I can never remember how much cheese to add to each layer. This pan turned out pretty well. I could have used more cheese, but the salt and pepper ratios were spot on. I’m pasting the recipe as printed below, and then at the bottom, I’ll add what I did differently.

Scalloped Potato Gratin

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more to finish
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (raclette & jarlsberg), plus more for broiling

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a saucepan, heat up the cream with the bay leaves, thyme, garlic, nutmeg and some salt and pepper.

While the cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bay leaves and thyme. Pour the heated cream into a large bowl with the potato slices. Mix gently to coat the potatoes. Dust the Parmesan over the potatoes. Season the mix with a little bit of salt and pepper. Mix to gently incorporate. Spoon a little bit of the cream into the bottom of the casserole dish. Then spoon the potatoes in. Level out the potatoes for uniform cooking time. Pour the remaining cream at the bottom of the bowl over the top. Top with some Parmesan and fresh thyme leaves. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, but pull back one corner for the steam to escape. Bake for 40 minutes.

***Changes: I grated the Raclette and Jarlesberg (about 1 ½ cup total) and mix together in a bowl. Instead of mixing the cream with the potatoes, I layer the potatoes in the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, pour on cream then add cheese. I repeat this process until I’m out of potatoes and sprinkle more cheese on top.  

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