Sunday, April 17, 2011

Outrageous Cheesy Potatoes

Category: Fruits and Vegies
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Not Healthy At All

My nephews Nate and Taylor love cheesy potatoes. So do I! You know, we all want them. Hot and cheesy and flavorful. See those brown edges in the picture? Mmmmm. You know! That's the good stuff. But how to get it?

I dreamed of "Au Gratin" or cheesy potatoes combined with scalloped potatoes. I wanted them to have layers of cream and tender potatoes with lots of melty cheese, and a golden bubbly crust on top. So, after a week-long Quest, I found it. This recipe is adapted from one by Food Network guest chef Cathy Lowe. Have it with ham at Easter or anytime you just want comfort food. It's addictive. This will feed 6 French people or 4-5 Americans. (We go back for seconds!)

Swiss Potato Gratin:

2 T butter
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch slices)
1 C milk
1 C water
1 bay leaf
salt, pepper and nutmeg
3 C grated Emmantaler Swiss cheese (don't get domestic!)
1 T green onions, minced
2/3 C heavy cream ( I used 3/4 C)
8-10 pieces of crumbled crisp bacon (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 10 inch baking dish. In medium saucepan, combine potatoes, milk, water, bay leaf and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, stir once or twice, and reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender but not mooshy.

Drain the potatoes and layer half of them in the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle on quite a bit of salt (1/2 t) and 1/8 t pepper and 1/8 nutmeg, 1 T minced green onions, half the bacon and half the cheese. Spread out remaining potatoes and the same amount of seasonings and the other half of the cheese and bacon. Note: You can use a sharp or white cheddar instead of the Swiss, but I wouldn't put in any nutmeg.

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