Tuesday, May 17, 2011

comfort food

Since it is a (broken) furnace-like 40 degrees here in western New York, some comfort food was in order. Enter:

Potatoes Au Gratin, a new family favorite.
(adapted from All Recipes.com)

The cheesy goodness is just too much to contain! See the overflowing dish?

5 or so red potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4" pieces
buttered 2 quart dish - I used a glass loaf pan
two garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt (and pepper to taste, if you want. I skipped that.)
2 cups milk - skim works just fine
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup parmesan (I used powdered, but shredded would've been yummier yet)
breadcrumbs, if desired

1. Butter the dish. Seriously. I suppose you could use cooking spray or something healthy like that, but who would want to? :o)
2. Peel and slice potatoes, and lay them down in a single layer in the buttered dish.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 F. (The original recipe says 400 F)
In a sauce pan, melt the butter and add the minced garlic. All at once, add the flour and salt, whisking to combine.
4. Continuing to whisk, add the 2 cups of milk. Here comes the waiting game: whisk continuously until the mixture thickens. Not boils, just thickens. Just keep whisking. My wrist got really tired.
5. Once the mixture thickens, add all the cheese and whisk until it all melts. Remove from heat.
6. Pour a layer of cheesy sauce goodness over the first layer of potatoes. Add a second layer and pour on another layer of sauce. Repeat until you're out of potatoes, and make sure every last drop of cheese is slurped up makes it into the dish. I added a topping of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs here, but they disappeared with baking. Ineffective, I guess.
7. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to prevent the awesomeness of cheese from coating your oven's wire racks. Place the glass dish on the baking sheet and cover with more foil.
8. Bake at 350 F for 2 hours, or at 400 for 1.5 hours. Check partway through to make sure it's not spilling over.
9. EAT!

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