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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cheesy Potatoes Gratin

Not the best picture, but the dish was a hit!
Sometimes you have to get a little creative. I wanted to use up some potatoes we had in the kitchen but didn't want to roast, fry or saute them. I thought Gratin would be a nice change of pace but I really don't have a good gratin dish for small portions.

I was going to do breaded and baked chicken too, so decided to "engineer" a solution to my dilemma. What I ended up doing was taking my Pyrex baking dish and lining it with foil. I then created two sections using heavy foil. On one side I would create my gratin and on the other I would bake the chicken.

Amazingly, it worked out perfectly. I came out with a very interesting and flavorful gratin featuring mozzarella and sauteed onion with a bit of garlic and my chicken baked beautifully. I couldn't have been more pleased. I only wish I'd managed to get a better photo of the dish before Michael dug into it.

4-5 medium red potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin round pieces
8-10 tbs. unsalted butter, plus 2 tbs. for dish
1/2 red onion, diced and sauteed in olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup heavy cream
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella
1-2 tbs. seasoned bread crumbs

Soak the potato slices in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Pour off water and dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 375°. Butter small earthenware or Pyrex dish thoroughly and sprinkle bottom and sides with garlic. Layer potatoes on bottom of dish, covering fully. Dot potatoes with butter and drizzle with a couple spoonfuls of cream. Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of diced onion. Cover with mozzarella.

Repeat with remaining potatoes, creating layers of potatoes, butter, cream, onion and cheese until all are used. Place in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until top layer of cheese has melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle top with 1-2 tbs. of bread crumbs (to promote browning). Return to oven and continue cooking for 35-45 minutes or until top of casserole has browned and potatoes have absorbed the cream and butter. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

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