I love potatoes, baked potatoes are probably my favorite but whether baked or fried, roasted, or boiled I still love potatoes. I don’t know why maybe the Scandinavian in me or the way I grew up; we had potatoes with almost every meal.
This time I am making potato gratin. Gratin is from the French language in which the word “gratter” meaning to “to scrape” as of the “scrapings” of bread or cheese, and gratiné, from the transitive verb form of the word for crust. Cooking au gratin is a technique rather than exclusively a preparation of potatoes, such as a gratin dauphinois, and many other foods may be prepared in this way, including various meat and pasta dishes. Usually when you cook au gratin you use breadcrumbs, however I do not like that technique, also when you make gratin dauphiniois you do not use cheese, again not my technique. I like my potatoes prepared with cream, onions, garlic and cream.
A good potato Gratin should be crispy on the top and bottom and have a rich, cheesy taste. If you look closely at your gratin upon taking it out of the oven, you will notice the cream has turned into a curdled, cheese-like substance. This is a most desirable trait in a gratin, as the potatoes absorb water from the liquid, you get a concentration of fat and protein, just as you would with fresh cheese curds.
Then other folks add all kinds of things into their gratin, anything from adding yams, broccoli, cauliflower, scallops and many more. I like mine simple. But if you have a good gratin recipe with other ingredients please share, I am curious to try it out.
½ lbs Potatoes
2 tbs butter
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup Emmental cheese
¼ cup Gruyère cheese
1 Garlic clove
Optional ¼ cup of chicken stock
Peel potatoes (if you wish) and slice them into thin slices. I usually boil them for 5 minutes to make sure they are evenly cooked.
Then butter your pan and lay first layer of potatoes down. Then put the onion and garlic on top of that. Then salt and pepper and then half the cheese. Then put another layer of potatoes down and then some more salt and pepper. Pour a little chicken stock as well if you wish for taste otherwise just pour the cream over the potatoes and then the rest of the cheese on top, I like it both ways without or without the chicken stock.
Put it in the oven 400F for about 30 minutes