A year after meeting Ted Allen from Chopped fame at the Market District here in Pittsburgh, I think I use his cookbook more of a memento than a source of recipes.
So today I decided to try something else from it. And I was not disappointed. I made the Potatoes Au Gratin. It was quick, easy, and ever so tasty. I really like recipes that you work for about 1/2 hour and then let the thing do the rest of the work alone in the oven. And that was what this recipe was all about.
I think what makes it so good is not the ingredients, but the technique. I think the trick is cutting the potatoes as thin as possible. I used the 1mm blade on my food processor and made paper thin slices that looked a lot like potato chips. I also put them in water while I was cutting the rest up. Besides preventing them from browning in the air, I think that step really helped to remove some of the starch in the potatoes. Because it was everywhere– in the bowl, in the sink, on the counter, and even on the floor.
Here’s what I did:
- Cut about 2 pounds of peeled potatoes in the thinest slices you can.
- Soak in a bowl of water while you finish cutting up the potatoes.
- Take one half the potatoes and layer into a buttered baking dish.
- Ted suggested using cream, but I didn’t have any. So I used sour cream instead. Put about 1/2 cup in over top of the potatoes.
- Season with salt, white pepper, bay leaves, and freshly ground nutmeg. (I am not a big fan of nutmeg, so I think I added too much. But I didn’t get any complaints so maybe it was just too much for my own taste.)
- Add some shredded cheese to cover. I used white cheddar.
- Repeat with the rest of potatoes, cream, seasonings, and cheese.
- Dot with butter on top.
- Bake at 350 for 1 hours 15 minutes.
- Let rest for about 20 minutes before serving.