Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin

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Alright, people. Final 2018 Easter recipe begins now!

I’m just going to start by saying the past week has been SO much fun for me to write. I always share a lot of recipes and holiday-oriented posts, but having all of the recent recipes connected by the common theme of building an epic party menu felt so fresh and playful for me. I was so inspired and now I’m getting really excited to apply the same kind of style/organization to future holidays. How do y’all feel? I hope you liked reading these as much as I loved writing them!

Anyway, back to the food.

The final recipe is a favorite side dish of Mark’s and mine. I made it a couple of years ago for our first Easter together, and we instantly decided it had to happen again and again and again. It’s creamy and cheesy, good for serving to crowds, and makes bomb leftovers. It’s potatoes au gratin!

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I know this isn’t exactly groundbreaking. Potatoes au gratin are kind of the go-to for Easter side dishes. But up until two years ago, it wasn’t something I had ever had. Mark hadn’t either, because he didn’t really celebrate Easter growing up. So it’s still new enough for me that I think it’s worth sharing as I experiment a bit.

I can easily understand why it’s a mainstay on Easter brunch menus, though. You can serve these potatoes alongside a bright, citrusy salad or with a honey glazed ham. Or both! They’re pretty versatile. Also…it’s potatoes and cheese. So, instant and guaranteed crowd pleaser. If you’re ever feeling worried about whether or not your guests will really enjoy the menu, add a dish with potatoes and cheese. Real talk.

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Potatoes Au Gratin:

6 small potatoes, cleaned and thinly sliced

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 c heavy cream

1/4 c milk

1 tbsp thyme

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of salt and pepper

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 1/2 c shredded gruyere cheese

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Using a mandolin (or a really good, sharp knife) slice the washed potatoes.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring consistently. Add the heavy cream and milk into the saucepan, stirring to combine. Then add the thyme, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Finally, mix in the shredded gruyere cheese. Mix constantly, making sure to scrape everything from the bottom of the saucepan, until mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat.

Arrange half of the potato slices in circular pattern around a cast iron skillet. Pour half of the cheese/cream mixture over these slices. Cover the skillet with the remaining slices and then pour the rest of the sauce over the potatoes.

Cover the skillet with aluminum foil and bake, covered, for 45 minutes.

Remove the foil and sprinkle the parmesan over the top of the potatoes. Then bake, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

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This rendition was so, so good. Much better than my 2016 version. It had a respectable gruyere in it, which made all the difference. Plus, the red pepper flakes added some heat without the dish crossing the line into being “spicy”. I really can’t wait for you to try this.

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As I’ve been mentioning, my Easter will likely be nothing special. The bunny won’t visit me. I’ll be at work starting at 11 am, so no church or brunch for me. I will probably treat myself to a slice of carrot cake. And maybe I’ll make a quiche in the morning? I can probably manage that. Mostly, I plan on just spending the day feeling grateful and looking forward to fresh starts and new beginnings.

 

Thank you so much for reading, everyone! Have very Happy Easters. And don’t let your pets eat any chocolate or you’ll have me to answer to. 😉