POTATOES AU GRATIN
WHAT ARE POTATOES AU GRATIN?
Potatoes gratin is made of scalloped potatoes and cheese (haha, I thought of it when I thought of “royale with cheese”). If you love scalloped potatoes and cheese, you’ll love the au gratin potatoes!
If you’ve never tried scalloped potatoes, imagine potatoes au gratin thinly cut: potatoes filled with cheese and creamy white sauce. It’s then baked until delicious and bubbly. It’s pretty impressive.
WHAT KIND OF CHEESE CAN I USE?
In general, you should stick to soft melting cheeses when cooking potatoes for gratin and steer clear of hard-aged cheeses that don’t melt as quickly (like Parmesan, although that is a beautiful topping when paired with breadcrumbs!). I had cheddar cheese available this morning, which I used; however, Gruyere is a popular alternative to serving potatoes with gratin.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH POTATOES: AU GRATIN
It is such a delicious fil, ling, and comforting meal that it works perfectly with any roast or cooked comfort meal. I’d recommend pairing the dish with herb-roasted Pork Tenderloin, Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf, and Herb Butter Chicken Thighs. Of course, you’ll require some vegetables to counteract the richness. So include a simple dish of green beans that have been steamed to give it a boost.
WHAT KIND OF POTATOES ARE BEST?
Most people prefer a more waxy option for potatoes au gratin, like Yukon red or gold potatoes, but I’m just the opposite. I love russet potatoes since they’re more starchy and help keep the sauce thick and delicious, and I like their tenderness when cooked in the creamy sauce. If you prefer a firmer cut, choose Yukon red or gold potatoes.
3 lbs. potatoes ($1.79)
One onion yellow ($0.32)
4. Tbsp of butter ($0.56)
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.04)
1 cup chicken broth ($0.12)
2 cups of whole milk ($0.75)
1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
1/4 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper ($0.02)
1/8 TSP ground nutsmeg ($0.02)
Eight oz. cheddar, shredded ($1.69)
Preheat the oven to 350oF. Peel and cut the potatoes into slices that are 1/8-inch thick. If you’re still not confident with your knife, you can use a mandoline or a food processor to cut the potatoes into even small chunks.
Finely chop a yellow onion. Sauté on a pot along with the butter until it becomes soft (about five mins). After it is smooth, add the flour to the pool and allow it to cook, stirring for approximately two minutes. After that, mix in the milk until the flour is completely dissolved.
Let the milk rise to a mild simmer on medium heat while whisking frequently. After it has cooled, the milk will become thicker. Incorporate the chicken broth and let it return to the point of simmering. Add salt and pepper. Add nutmeg.
Layer the potato halves in the bottom of a 4-quart casserole dish. Then, top the potatoes with half the white sauce and the other half of the cheddar shredded. Repeat with a second layer of sauce, potatoes, and shredded cheddar.
Place the dish in a casserole pan covered with foil. Cook it in the 350oF preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes up to the point that the cheese has browned and bubbling over the top. The casserole should be left at a temperature of 10 degrees before serving.