One of the dishes Dan & I served up at the September 6 Underground Kitchen (you can read all about it in yesterday’s post below) was a Gorgonzola Potato Gratin.
Gratin was adapted from French cuisine is a type of casserole dish that is covered with Béchamel sauce or Mornay sauce, topped with buttered breadcrumbs or grated cheese and either baked or boiled, then served in its baking dish with a golden crust. Cooking au gratin is a technique rather than exclusively a preparation of potatoes (which is specifically a gratin dauphinois): anything that can be sliced thin, layered with a cream sauce and baked is material for a gratin.
The name gratin dauphinois refers to the Dauphiné region of France, where this method of preparing potatoes is a specialty. The ingredients composing a typical gratin dauphinois are thinly sliced and layered potatoes, milk (and/or cream or creme fraiche), cheese, garlic, salt and pepper.
My potato gratin would be the base of a plate also showcasing beef tenderloin, chimichurri sauce and breaded asparagus. I wanted a creamy gratin that would not compete with the other flavors on the plate. An important component of chimichurri is garlic, so I did not want to overdo it by adding garlic to the gratin as well. I opted to keep it simple and classic.
Gorgonzola Potato Gratin
5 pounds Russet potatoes
2 cups heavy cream
7 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper
butter, for dish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9×13 baking dish. (I used glass.)
Slice potatoes very thinly using a mandoline. Place a layer of potatoes in the dish, overlapping them. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat layers, seasoning each one, until all potatoes are used.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream to boiling. When the cream boils, reduce heat slightly and add Gorgonzola, stirring until smooth.
Pour the cream/cheese mixture over the potatoes, cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender and they have browned around the edges.
Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing into squares.
This dish can be baked in advance and refrigerated. Reheat, covered with foil, in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until warmed through. Let the gratin cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
Note- If you do not own a mandoline, you should really consider getting one. It is importatnt the potatoes are thin so they will achieve the proper doneness and texture. You can pick one up at Wal Mart for about $10.