We’re in Texas this week and I’m super excited to meet some of you tonight in Austin at BookPeople! Oh Austin….how I love you. We love it so much, actually, that we are getting married here in June. I can’t wait. Along with all the Thanksgiving festivities this week, Adam and I are also going on a rather massive wedding venue hunt. We have about six appointments so far and hopefully picking one of them as our dream wedding spot. Eeek! So many new and exciting things…I still have the we-just-got-engaged-and-I-can’t-stop-smiling look on my face. I don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon.
I could gush for days on everything engagement but I’m going to hold off for just a moment. Because…what I have to say is important and that is: Potatoes au Gratin is the secret weapon of any great Thanksgiving meal. Oh yes it is.
I mean, it’s technically macaroni and cheese….but made with potatoes. What’s not to love? It’s the best. And it’s a classic that everyone loves.
In this classic dish, paper thin slices of potatoes are smothered in a cheesy white sauce, topped with *more* cheese and breadcrumbs and baked. Well, they are in mine any way. I love the extra crunch that the breadcrumb topping gives.
It’s so good that I can’t even stand it. I like to use a blend of swiss and gruyere cheese, but feel free to use cheddar if you wish. Whatever you do, don’t skimp. No one likes cheese skimpers.
Also, this dish can be assembled and baked a day ahead of time! Just store in the fridge and then reheat in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes until hot when you’re ready to serve.
Peace, love, potatoes & cheese. Amen.
Classic Potatoes au Gratin
2 1/2 lbs russet potatoes (about 4 potatoes)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup + 1/2 cup swiss & gruyere cheese blend, divided
1 tsp salt
pinch of white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel and thinly slice your potatoes. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and whisk constantly until mixture (roux) turns the color of peanut butter. Be careful not to burn this!
Once you have peanut butter colored roux, slowly stream in the milk, whisking while you pour. Keep whisking until mixture is smooth and thick — about five minutes.
Add the cup of cheese and mix so cheese melts. Add the salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Finally, add the thinly sliced potatoes and toss so all potatoes are coated in the sauce.
Pour potato mixture into a greased 9″ casserole dish OR 2 quart oven-safe pot. Cover with either tin foil or pot lid and bake for 1 hour.
While potatoes are baking, mix the remaining half cup of cheese and breadcrumbs together in a small bowl. When the timer goes off, remove the lid and sprinkle this over the potatoes evenly. Bake uncovered for an additional 35-40 minutes until potatoes are tender and top is golden.