Monday, January 2, 2012

Au Gratin Potatoes

Well, I promised to post the recipes for the sides that I made for our Christmas Eve Rib Eye Roast, here they are....

Au Gratin Potatoes

  • 6 - 8 Med Yukon Gold Potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 Med Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 2 Cups Fontina Cheese, shredded
  • 4 Tbls Butter, cut into cubes
  • Butter to grease the dish (about 2 Tsp)
  • 1 Pt (16oz) Heavy Cream
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F

Using a chef's knife, food processor or mandolin, slice Potatoes about 1/4 inch thick and set them aside in a bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown.

Slice the Onion thinly, mince the Garlic, cut the Butter into small cubes and grate your Cheeses and set them aside in small bowls or on a large plate or cutting board for easy assembly when you're ready.

Grease a 13x9x2 baking dish liberally with a butter.

Drain the Potatoes and pat any excess water off with a bit with paper toweling.

Start by evenly layering the Potatoes in the bottom of the greased baking dish. Try not to overlap them too much.

Next, spread a thin layer of Onions, a small handful of the Cheeses and dot evenly with a few pieces of Butter.  Sprinkle with a little Salt and Pepper.

Continue on with your layers, repeating each one just as you did the first, until you reach about an inch and a half from the top of the dish, ending with the Cheese. Don't be afraid to season each layer with the Salt and Pepper.  Potatoes and dairy can take quite a bit of seasoning.

When you've finished layering, slowly pour the Heavy Cream over the top, making a point to go along the sides and in the middle.  The Cream probably won't come completely up to the top and that's OK.

Place the dish on the center rack in your oven and bake, uncovered for 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours, or until the potatoes have softened, but still feel a little bit firm when pierced with a fork.  Remove them from the oven, cover the dish lightly with a little foil and allow them to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

The Beans are about as simple as it gets.  Here's the recipe.

Sauteed Green Beans w/ Shallots and Garlic

  • 2 Lbs Fresh Green Beans, tipped and tailed
  • 2 to 3 Large Shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 Med Cloves Garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tbls Butter
  • 3 - 4 Tbls Water
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Wash the beans and pat them dry with paper toweling.  Tip and tail them. (which is just an old fashioned way of saying cut or snap off the ends)  I like to leave the top ends on and keep them whole, but if you prefer, you can cut them into smaller pieces.

In a medium skillet, melt the Butter over medium to medium high heat and when it just begins to sizzle and foam a bit, add your beans, onions and garlic to the pan and toss to coat with the Butter.  Season with Salt and Pepper to taste. Continue to saute the beans for about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in the Water, bring to a simmer and cover the pan loosely with a lid.  Cook for another 5 or 6 minutes and remove the lid.  Turn the heat up slightly to allow the majority of the water to evaporate.  Because it's a fat, the butter will not evaporate and will have lightly coated the vegetables. Taste for seasoning and add a little bit more Salt and Pepper if needed.  Serve.

You can use this method of cooking with all kinds of veggies.  I cook Carrots, Broccoli and Asparagus this way quite often.  It may take a couple of minutes more or less of cooking with the lid on, depending on the density and cut of the vegetable that you're cooking. Carrots and thicker spears of Asparagus take a bit longer than Green Beans or Broccoli, for instance.  Fresh herbs, hot pepper flakes and other seasonings can be added according to what you and your family like. Let your taste buds be your guide. The sky's the limit!

Click here to read about my most precious Christmas gift this year.


  1. All these cheeses...I'm officially in LOVE!

  2. As I'm reading this and feasting my eyes, I'm really hungry! This meal looks so enjoyable.

  3. I can't believe I missed this post. I know I asked for you to put the recipe in. I think. THANKYOU for doing so. I am probably going to make it for a luncheon for my dentist's office staff next week. You have such wonderful recipes on here. Love your blog!



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