Apr 25, 2011

Easter Gratin

It traveled over an hour to the dinner table and took more than 3 hours to bake (reheating time included). Not a quick recipe by any means but certainly worth the effort. Brian's potatoes and mushroom au gratin was savory, silky, and delicious! It paired perfectly with the steamed asparagus and roasted spiral ham. Can you say classic?

5 lb. russet potatoes, organic preferred, sliced 1/4" thick
1 Tbs olive oil
2 lb. portabello mushrooms, gils removed, sliced 1/2" thick
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme
1-C dry red wine
3 1/2 pints heavy cream, organic preferred
1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 lb. gruyere cheese, shredded
1/4 lb. fontina cheese, shredded
1/2 pound parmesan cheese, shredded
Butter to grease the pan
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Begin by heating a large skillet to sauté the mushrooms, garlic and thyme in olive oil on medium heat. Allow to cook down about 5-7 minutes. De-glaze pan with red wine and cook until absorbed. Meanwhile in another large skillet heat 3 pints of heavy cream until bubbling. Add sliced potatoes and cook in cream about 10 minutes. Add nutmeg to cream. Meanwhile butter inside of 9 x 13 baking dish and place on top of half sheet pan (insurance for spill-over in oven).

Begin by layering 1/2 of potatoes and cream in bottom of baking dish. Then spoon all of the mushrooms over the potatoes. Finish with a drizzle of 1/4 pint of cream. Then distribute 1/2 of the shredded cheese mixture over the mushrooms. Finish with the remainder of the creamy potatoes, remaining 1/4 cup cream and cheese. Butter one side of aluminum foil and place butter side down over potatoes. Bake for 1 1/2 hours covered. Remove foil and bake for another 1/2 hour or until bubbling and golden brown on top. Recommend making 1-day in advance of serving.

To reheat, preheat oven to 500ºF. Bake covered for 20-30 minutes or until bubbling.

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