Cheesy au Gratin Potatoes (Recipe)
Cheesy potatoes during the fall and winter months are a given in our family. It's almost as certain as turkey at Thanksgiving. They just are. The two things go hand in hand, and without one, you surely can't have the other.
For my family, these potatoes are generally of the cheddar-laden variety, but sometimes I prefer a fresh herbed dish with plenty of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a creamy sauce. The herbs remind me that summer is coming, and they can be paired with all sorts of Easter proteins from ham to lamb to turkey, whichever is the norm in your family.
Cheesy au Gratin Potatoes
4 pounds potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, parsley), finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat oven to 350º F. Rub the crushed garlic around the inside of the baking dish or dishes and set aside. Layer the potatoes in a single layer at the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with rosemary, salt and pepper and then about 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Continue layering up the dish: potatoes, herbs, salt, cheese.
When all potatoes are layered evenly, pour cream over until it just comes to hit the very top of the top layer. You want the potatoes to be covered with cream, but they should not be floating.
Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until top is crispy and brown and cream has become creamy pockets and is no longer pooling. Smaller dishes will need slightly less baking time, approximately 20 minutes less for a larger ramekin. Halfway through the baking time, open the oven and push potatoes down under the cream again with the back of a spoon to ensure the cream is evenly distributed while baking. Remove from oven and allow to stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 servings.