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Classic potato gratin

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Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoon butter, soft
  • 1 teaspoon garlic clove, cut in half
  • 2 cup half & half
  • 2 cup cream*
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 pound idaho or russet potatoes, about 6 medium-size, washed well
  • 2 cup grated parmesan reggiano cheese

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Coat the bottom and sides of a 10- to 12-cup casserole dish with the butter.

(Approximate sizes would be a rectangular 9 x 13-inch or an oval 10 x 15-inch.

The dish can be ceramic or glass, and the sides should be from 2-3 inches high, though deeper will work as well, just not be as full-looking, which is OK.)

Rub the cut sides of the garlic clove over the top and sides of the dish.

2.

Place the garlic, half-and-half and cream in a large pot.

Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg (any proportion of half-and-half and cream can be used, even all of one or the other.

These 4 cups make a very creamy gratin.

You may use up to ½ cup less if you want.)

3.

Peel a potato and slice into 1/16-inch-thick slices, either by hand or with a mandoline.

Place the slices directly into the cold cream mixture.

Peel and slice the next potato, add to the cream, and repeat with the remaining potatoes.

Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring almost constantly.

Keep at a low simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and stir in 1½ cups of the Parmesan.

4.

Pour into the prepared dish, spreading evenly.

Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup Parmesan over the top and place in the oven.

Bake about 40 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly and the top is a deep, golden crusty brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes to set.

The gratin will still be warm an hour out of the oven, and can be kept ready to serve by placing in a gently warm oven.

Refrigerate leftovers and reheat in the oven or microwave to serve.

Great as a side dish, or as a main dish with salad on the side.

If you want to make less, cut the recipe in half and use an 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch square dish.

You could also use a 9- to 10-inch diameter round dish.

You can also make individual gratins in smaller dishes — you can see that it’s flexible!

Tips:

Chef’s note: I used Parmesan cheese in these recipes, but the classic French version usually includes grated Gruyere.

It's really your choice, as any firm, full-flavored cheese can be used.

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