Cooking: Potatoes au Gratin

with Chef Robert Larios
Photography by Patricia M. Larios

There appear to be so many variations of Potatoes au Gratin and you can’t go wrong with any that are tried and true. For the recipe I made here, I use heavy cream; in some recipes it is not required. But I think it adds a thickness and creaminess for a unique dimension to the texture. I would also suggest simmering the mixture of heavy cream, milk, butter, garlic and flour to a boil so that the ingredients are well mixed once you begin pouring it over the potatoes. I have also seen dishes where the potatoes are laid sideways instead of face down like the one I made. I do like the idea of it being sideways since it achieves a crispier texture. Nonetheless, try this one and it will be a crowd favorite.

¡Buen provecho!



Potatoes au Gratin



Yields4 Servings

 45 medium russet potatoes, peeled
 ½ cup finely sliced sweet yellow onions
 ½ cup milk
 2 tbsp flour
 1 tbsp garlic powder
 1 cup heavy cream
 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 1 tbsp butter, softened
 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
 ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
 Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

1

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the potatoes and place in water.

2

Step 2:
With a mandolin, cut the potatoes into 1/4–inch slices. Beat together cream, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Coat the inside of large baking dish with extra virgin olive oil.

3

Step 3:
Place sliced potatoes at the bottom of the dish. Add salt and pepper, slices of onion and cheddar cheese. Add several layers, then add the cream mixture. Cover potatoes and bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake another 60 minutes or until brown on top. Sprinkle remainder of cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle parsley just before serving.

4

Step 4:
Serve and enjoy!

Ingredients

 45 medium russet potatoes, peeled
 ½ cup finely sliced sweet yellow onions
 ½ cup milk
 2 tbsp flour
 1 tbsp garlic powder
 1 cup heavy cream
 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 1 tbsp butter, softened
 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
 ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
 Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions

1

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the potatoes and place in water.

2

Step 2:
With a mandolin, cut the potatoes into 1/4–inch slices. Beat together cream, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Coat the inside of large baking dish with extra virgin olive oil.

3

Step 3:
Place sliced potatoes at the bottom of the dish. Add salt and pepper, slices of onion and cheddar cheese. Add several layers, then add the cream mixture. Cover potatoes and bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake another 60 minutes or until brown on top. Sprinkle remainder of cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle parsley just before serving.

4

Step 4:
Serve and enjoy!

Potatoes au Gratin

Food Lover’s Dictionary

Gratin: A gratin is any dish that is topped with cheese or breadcrumbs mixed with bits of butter, then heated in the oven or under the broiler until brown and crispy. The terms au gratin or gratineé refer to any dish prepared in such a manner. Special round or oval gratin pans and dishes are ovenproof and shallow, which increases a dish’s surface area, thereby ensuring a larger crispy portion for each serving.

Bibliography:  © Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. 2009, Adapted from The New Food Lover’s Companion, 2007,
by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst



Cooking Tidbit: Onions are not required, so if you are not a fan, leave ’em out.



Food Quote: “What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.” – A.A. Milne

 

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