Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

cheesy-potatoes-au-gratin

I don’t think I’ve come across a potato recipe that I haven’t fallen in love with.  Let’s face it, it’s very hard to destroy a potato.  But the addition of a warm cheesy sauce and then baking until it’s bubbly and hot is just magical!  That my friends is the definition of Potatoes Au Gratin.

There seems to be a difference in a ‘gratin’ recipe and a ‘scalloped’ recipe.  A gratin
(coming from the French word for “grated”) usually has a topping of bread crumbs or
cheese, which browns at the final stage of cooking.  

I was introduced to the addition of bread crumbs on top of my potatoes quite some time ago.  I like the crunch that it adds, but I do find too much is too much.  It takes away from the dish rather than enhances it so I try to use it sparingly while letting it crisp up under the broiler to get bubbly. 

Potatoes Au Gratin is a fairly simple dish to make, however it does take time to cook, anywhere from 45 min to 1 hour.  So I’m sorry to say this may not be a weeknight side dish for some of you.  However, there are weekends where you will be happy to serve this piping hot bubbly cheesy goodness!

Speaking of time, I do NOT to peel my potatoes for 2 reasons:

  1. I’m lazy and short on time
  2. I like them better with the skins and a more rustic look

Just be sure to really scrub them to get them clean and organic is your best bet here due to the pesticides and chemicals you will find on conventional potatoes…… or can peel them if you wish.

cheesy-potatoes-au-gratin

I’m using a mandolin here to get my potatoes as thin as I can.  They are relatively inexpensive and ensure an even and concise slice each time.  Just watch your fingers (experience talking).

cheesy-potatoes-au-gratin

I want to take a minute to talk about the sauce.  You want to make sure it does NOT come to a boil.  Boiling cream makes it curdle.  You want to keep the sauce WARM on the stove while you are slicing your potatoes and preparing the baking dish.

Then when you are ready, take the saucepan OFF the heat to incorporate the cheese.  Again, cheese is another component that is easy to break when it gets incorporated too quickly.

Pour your sauce over the potatoes one layer at time so each potato gets a little moist.  Continue to layer until you are done.  I got 4 layers and I used a 9 x 9 baking dish.  If you were to use a 9 x 13 you will most likely get 3 layers.

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Cover it tightly with foil and bake it on the middle rack in a preheated oven at 350 checking it at 45 min by poking the potato with a fork.  Then remove the foil and sprinkle the breadcrumb/cheese mixture over it and place it under the broiler to get nice and bubbly. 

cheesy-potatoes-au-gratin

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

Rating: 31

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: (1) 9" baking dish

Serving Size: 15

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

These tantalizing scalloped potatoes are a deliciously warm and cheesy side dish to accompany ham, chicken, pork or steak.

Ingredients

5 med-large Russet Potato (3" to 4-1/4" dia.)
1/4 cup Organic Butter, unsalted (and a little for greasing the pan)
1/2 cup Organic Sweet Onions, diced small
1 Tablespoon Whole Wheat White Flour
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
1 Cup Organic Whole Milk
1 Cup Organic Heavy Whipping Cream
2 whole Cloves Organic Garlic, peeled
2 cups Good Quality Sharp Cheddar Cheese (in the fine cheese section of your market), divided into 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup
TOPPING:
1/4 cup Bread crumbs, seasoned
1/2 cup remaining cheese from above

Instructions

    THE PREP:
  1. Finely dice the onion. Peel the garlic. Scrub and dry the potatoes
  2. Measure the whipping cream and milk (you can use half and half or just whole milk if you choose) and warm it in the microwave
  3. Shred 2 cups of cheese and divide by 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup. Combine the breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup cheese
  4. THE SAUCE:
  5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onion. Add salt and pepper. (You don't want the onion to brown so keep the heat low and let the onions soften for about 3 minutes). Add the whole cloves of garlic about 1 minute in
  6. Add the flour and let that cook for at least 1 minute to burn off any raw flour taste
  7. Add about 1/4 cup of the milk and stirring constantly let it thicken. Continue adding milk at 1/2 cup intervals until it's all incorporated and there are no lumps. Turn the heat on low and let the sauce warm through but DO NOT LET IT BOIL
  8. Remove the garlic
  9. Take the sauce off the heat and add the cheese to incorporate
  10. PUTTING IT TOGETHER:
  11. As the sauce is warming through, using a mandolin on the lowest setting, slice your potatoes and put them in a colander. Rinse when all the potatoes are done and pat dry
  12. Using the garlic you removed from the sauce, rub the inside of a 9 x 13 baking dish then butter the dish
  13. Pour a little sauce on the bottom of the pan and begin layering the potatoes and pouring sauce over them until 3 layers have been completed (for a 9" dish). Finish with sauce and cover with foil
  14. Bake covered on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes
  15. Remove the foil and sprinkle the breadcrumb/cheese mixture on top and continue baking for 10 minutes
  16. Broiling the last 5 minutes will result in a crispier bubblier topping
  17. Let stand 15 minutes before serving

Notes

All nutritional information is approximate and based on the number of servings listed. Calories 295; Fat 18 gr; Cholesterol 62 mg; Sodium 408 mg; Carbs 23 gr; Fiber 3.2 gr; Protein 10.3 gr

http://www.happilyunprocessed.com/2016/12/cheesy-au-gratin-potatoes/

Recipe Source:  HappilyUnprocessed.com
I used all organic ingredients when making this recipe and hope you do too!  🙂

Some of the things I used to make this recipe:

 

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