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Potato Gratin

My favorite dish at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner was this Potato Gratin recipe, courtesy of Frank Stitt’s Southern Table [1]. Stitt’s cookbook has been very reliable, it is also such a beautiful book that I enjoy flipping through it whenever I can. It took some convincing for Bryan to agree to a Thanksgiving dinner with no mashed potatoes, he’s a traditionalist, but after he tasted these he was glad he agreed.

Just look at that brown and crunchy and delicious cheese topping! Since this is so easy to make, maybe it will become a good substitute for my macaroni and cheese cravings.

Old-Fashioned Potato Gratin

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Put the potato slices in a bowl of water to cover so they don’t discolor while you prepare the dish. Firmly rub the garlic clove all over the bottom and sides of a 10-inch gratin dish to coat the interior with its juices. Allow to dry for a few minutes, and then rub the bottom with butter.

Arrange a layer of potatoes, drained and patted dry, in a slightly overlapping fashion, like a splayed deck of cards, in the bottom of the gratin dish. Season with a good dash of salt and white pepper and a little of each of the two cheeses. Continue layering the potatoes and cheese in this fashion, seasoning each layer and finishing with the cheese (you should have at least three layers). Drizzle the cream along the sides of the dish, so as not to displace the cheese.

Place the gratin, uncovered, on the top oven rack and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the cream has been absorbed and the top is crispy and golden. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

***If you have a mandoline, it makes the potato slicing very easy. This dish is also easily altered, if the cream is too much for you you could use chicken broth instead. Or even milk. You could play with different types of cheese or add fresh herbs. Good luck!