Everyday beauty is all around us and it’s right here in our kitchens. A little jewel, Potato Gratin, bubbling hot from the oven provokes images of comfort and the simple beauty of cooking at home. Bijouxs Basics celebrates the images of cooking at home.
Potato Gratin, piping hot from the oven with layers of creamy potatoes, a crispy brown cheese topping and inside a surprise, a middle layer of roasted green chile, a taste combination that is hard to resist. Potato Gratin is a modern take on classic Potato Dauphinois, made simple. Potatoes, cream, garlic and cheese complete this Bijouxs Basics ingredient list; green chiles are an optional addition.
Preparing a potato gratin is easiest when the ingredients are fully prepped prior to assembly. Peel and slice the potatoes thin (either with a simple handheld slicer or a sharp knife) placing the slices immediately in a bowl of cold water to prevent the potatoes from turning brown as you work. Grate the cheese, prepare the green chiles and place the cream in the saucepan and you are ready to assemble the gratin.
Bijouxs Basics gratin places the drained, sliced potatoes into a saucepan of simmering cream for 5 minutes prior to layering the potatoes in the baking dish, providing a head start on the baking process. A quick rub of cut garlic to the bottom and sides of the baking dish provides just a hint of garlic to the gratin.
To include a middle layer of green chile, add half the potatoes to the baking dish, a layer of green chile, and then the remaining potatoes. It is important to note if you are using freshly roasted chiles, such as Hatch chiles, be sure to taste the chiles and adjust the amount you add based on their heat factor. The heat factor of chiles will vary. (The Hatch chiles used here happened to be mild, but I have encountered some very hot chiles that were labeled as mild, so a test taste is always in order.) Canned mild green chiles may also be used.
The potato gratin may be baked in one large baking dish (9 x 13 x 2-inch), but I have taken to baking smaller, multiple gratins. The smaller gratins are wonderful placed around the dining table allowing guests to easily serve themselves with ease, providing ample crispy topping for all. Smaller gratin baking dishes are a Bijouxs Basics essential for the kitchen, versatile for cobblers, baked pastas, etc. Another beautiful aspect of serving a gratin is that is can be baked up to a few days ahead and reheated prior to serving.
Potato Gratin, a Bijouxs Basics little jewel, part of the everyday beauty all around us, right here in our kitchens.