With Thanksgiving lurking around the corner like an anxious turkey, I am always trying to plan out a few vegetarian dishes for those who choose to skip the bird feast. This recipe is a newly developed favorite. It is one that requires that you stick close to the kitchen, but it is not difficult to pull together. The first time I made these au gratin potatoes it accompanied a lovely leg of lamb. It was so well received, it is now back on my list for the holidays. (Blatant Teaser- Be sure to come back next week as I’ve been working on a bit of a Thanksgiving dessert surprise that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.)
Potato and Onion Au Gratin
2 tsps garlic, minced
2 lbs russet potatoes (approximately 4), peeled
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Emmentaler, grated
1 white onion, sliced
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy (double) cream
Peel potatoes and thinly cut crosswise into slices of equal thickness. Preheat oven to 375 degrees position a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter a 1 1/2- 2 quart rectangular baking dish. It is important that the baking dish is large enough that the potatoes, once layered, do not come over the lip of the dish.
Peel the onion and slice in half. Slice each half thinly lengthwise.
Sprinkle garlic on the bottom of the baking dish. Layer half of the potato slices over the garlic, potatoes should be overlapping. Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt, pepper and cheese. Layer onion slices evenly over the potatoes, then add the next layer of potatoes.
Carefully pour the milk over the potatoes and be certain to cover all of the slices. Then pour 1/2 cup of the cream over the potatoes, making sure that each slice is covered with milk. Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
The potatoes will require a total of 60-80 minutes of baking time. For the first 40-minutes of baking, baste the potatoes with the milk and cream mixture, every 10 minutes. It may be necessary to tip the dish slightly when scooping up the liquid with a large spoon. To achieve a nice golden brown color it is important to evenly cover the potatoes with the liquid. For the remaining 20-40 minutes, of baking, baste the potatoes with the remaining 1/2 cup of reserved cream, every 10 minutes. Be sure to coat the potatoes evenly.
Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Leftovers? Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes.