Sunday, July 4, 2010

Potatoes Au Gratin

Potatoes and squash au gratin is a recipe I grew up eating but until recently never thought of recreating. I suppose I didn't realize the comforting powers of potatoes, cheese and bread crumbs until recently, oops. Either way, I used a mixture of cheeses for my version and you could vary it up as you like -- if you don't like swiss or brie, cheddar and cream cheese would work too. The sauce with Icelandic brie, which is much less ammoniac and strong as French brie, on top of the buttery yellow slices of Yukon potatoes gives this version an almost sweet taste. It's creamy and delicate as opposed to the results of using a robust Irish cheddar. Anywho.

You will need:

2 1/2 lbs golden Yukon potatoes
6 tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
4 oz Icelandic brie, wax removed
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
Salt to taste
2 stale slices of bread, dry and toasted (I like sourdough)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Carefully slice the potatoes thinly -- "1/4 or smaller, dropping each slice into a bowl of salt water so they don't oxidize. Once all the potatoes are cut, heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together with the flour and add about 1/3 cup of the milk, stirring until most of the lumps are gone. Once the sauce becomes hot add the brie and Swiss cheese, stir together until melted. Taste the sauce at this point and salt it to your liking. Remove from the heat.

Put several tablespoons of the cheese sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish and put a layer of potatoes over it. Repeat, and shred one of the slices of bread over the second potato layer. Keep doing this until you've used all the potatoes, pour the remainder of the sauce on top. Follow with the shredded cheddar and crumble the second slice of bread on top as well. Cover dish with tin foil and bake for an hour; after an hour, remove the tin foil and cook for 30 more minutes or until browned. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving, it's like molten lava!