Tuesday, January 25, 2011

you say potato, i say gratin de pommes de terre

potato gratin

transport your dinner guests to a bistro in france with these golden coins of potatoes layered with rich, garlicky cream

6 baking potatoes, such as russets
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
7 garlic cloves, smashed with a knife
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 sprigs fresh thyme
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided

preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

combine cream, milk, garlic and herbs in saucepan. season with salt and pepper. bring to low simmer and cook 30 minutes. strain, discarding garlic and herbs. 

meanwhile, peel potatoes. using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice them 1/8-inch thick into large bowl. cover with cold water to rinse their starch. drain potatoes and pat as dry as possible with paper towels or kitchen towels.

butter a 10x14-inch (or thereabouts) gratin dish with 1 tablespoon butter. arrange first layer of potatoes in concentric circles, overlapping them by nearly half. season lightly with salt and pepper. pour 1/2 cup flavored cream over potatoes. repeat layering process of potatoes, salt and pepper, and infused cream three more times, equalling 4 layers in total. dot with remaining tablespoon butter. cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. remove foil and bake, uncovered, for another 15-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and bubbly. let cool a few minutes for cream to set before serving. 
you could also bake as individual gratins

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