Alton Brown’s first show was about steak, so naturally the next episode, “This Spud’s for You”, was about potatoes. There are so many different options when cooking potatoes. I have already covered oven fries, and William has already covered chips, microwave chips and fries. For a slightly different dish I decided to follow AB’s Potato/Portabello Gratin Recipe.
The gratin looked really amazing and fairly easy to make so I thought I would give it a try. It yields a dish that is amazing in flavor and texture. The cheese on top becomes crispy and delicious and the inner layers melt in your mouth. The asiago cheese complements the mushrooms and potatoes perfectly. This dish is amazing as a side for your steak or even served along with some eggs for breakfast (that’s how I dispersed with some of my leftovers).
A gratin is basically very thinly sliced potatoes layered with other goodies, usually topped with cream and then baked. Preparing this will be significantly easier if you have a v-slicer or mandoline (I’ve never met anyone with cutlery skills that can outpace one). This is the one I have, although you may be able to find a similar one for less money. You just want to make sure it can cut chips and fries in various sizes (that’s mostly all I use mine for). I also switched out the mushrooms in the recipe because that’s what I had on hand, but you can follow his recipe if you like. Other than cutting the potatoes, the assembly takes little time, so this is a great dish to serve with labor intensive entrées (you can cook while it cooks). I hope that next time you are looking for a starchy side dish, that you will consider giving this recipe a try.
5-6 Yukon Gold Potatoes, Peeled
6 oz of small mushrooms (white button or I prefer baby portabella), Sliced
1 cup Grated Asiago Cheese
3/4 Cup Half and Half
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
1. Heat oven to 400 F. Slice the potatoes into thin chips about 1/8 inch thick (using a v-slicer if you have one). If your mushroom aren’t presliced you can quickly slice them using an egg slicer (see photo below).
2. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cheese for the top of the dish.
3. Using a baking dish 13 x9 put one layer of potatoes on the bottom and then add salt and pepper, 2-3 Tablespoons of cheese, and about 8 mushroom slices. You don’t want to put too many mushrooms in each layer or the layers of the final dish won’t set after cooking.
4. Continue making layers until you’ve use all your potatoes. Pour about 2/3 of a cup of half and half on top of the layers and push down with both hands. If you see cream bubble up you don’t need to add any more, if you don’t then pour the rest of the half and half on top.
5. Top with the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese and bake uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour. Depending on your vessel you may want to check at 45 minutes. You can test the doneness by sticking a knife through the layers, if it’s done there won’t be any resistance.