Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin

Sunday night I made a traditional Easter dinner for my family... Spiral Ham, Green Been Casserole, Corn, and these potatoes.  Why a week early you ask?  My wonderful mother-in-law has invited us for Easter dinner again this year.  She is a wonderful cook and always prepares a plentiful holiday feast.  My husband grew up with macaroni and cheese as the usual side dish, however my family always had Au Gratin Potatoes.  Since I won't be cooking this Easter, I wanted to prepare a nice Sunday dinner for my family, making sure to include all of my favorite holiday dishes.  

This recipe comes from the Joy of Cooking, although I adapted it slightly, by adding some onion and a little flour to the sauce to help thicken it.  My whole family loved this dish.   It cooks for 1 hour in the oven, resulting in perfectly tender, creamy, cheesy potatoes.  Enjoy!

Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin
adapted from Joy of Cooking


1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely diced onion
2 1/2 lbs. baking potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
3 cups half-n-half
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper
pinch of nutmeg
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Rub a 13x9 casserole dish with the garlic clove, then coat with 1 tablespoon of butter.

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat, add onion and a dash of salt and pepper.  Saute until onion is tender but do not let it brown.  Add all the half-n-half, sliced potatoes, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, nutmeg, and sprinkle in the flour.  Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat, then cook and stir gently until the liquid thickens slightly, about 3-5 minutes.  Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Press down lightly to submerge potatoes.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Bake for about 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender.  

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