Cooking On A Budget: Potatoes Au Gratin

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Potatoes Au Gratin

The very best way to prepare the ingredients for this dish is a food processor that has a thin slicing blade and a blade for grating the cheese and the onion.
My Kitchen Aide is perfect and I would say the prep time for slicing the potatoes, grating the cheese and onion was about 10 minutes. That sure beats trying to do it by hand.
A gratin is any shallow baked dish that is topped with bread crumbs or cheese. You could use cheese or a combination of cheese and bread crumb for the topping - it's up to you.
So the dish actually takes longer to bake than it does to prepare. I used an old Pyrex baking dish to bake the gratin. 6 1/2" x 7" x 2" deep.
  • 3 medium russet potatoes
  • 3/4 bar sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • extra cheese grated for topping
  • Milk or half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray
  1. In the food processor using a grating blade, grate the 3/4 bar of cheese. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Using the same grating blade, grate the onion (I estimate a slice of onion about 1 1/2 inch wide) to yield approximately 1/4 cup onion.
  3. Scrub 2-3 medium russet potatoes and with the thin slicing blade, slice the potatoes and transfer them to an awaiting bowl of cold water. It is not necessary to peel the potato.
  4. Empty the water and rinse one more time to remove any more dirt. Put cold water into the bowl with the potato slices.
  5. Take the thin slices of potato and lay out on a clean dish towel. (You want to remove excess water before assembling the dish.)
  6. Spray the casserole dish with a cooking spray.
  7. Begin layering with potatoes, over lapping and on each layer season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  8. Then sprinkle the shredded cheese and onion mixture on each layer.
  9. Repeat as necessary.
  10. Top with some extra cheese. (I used a Mexican blend I had left over. Use up the last 1/4 of the cheddar cheese bar if that is all you have.)
  11. Add some milk a little at a time until you can just see the milk on the sides of the dish.
  12. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven or toaster oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours.
  13. Remove foil and continue to bake until the gratin is bubbling and the top is golden brown - about 15 minutes more.
The gratin should yield about 6 servings. Complete the meal with a protein and some vegetable sides. The vegetable sides came from our gardens bounty.

Sunday's Blue Plate Special Dinner:
Potatoes Au Gratin
Summer Squash, Broccoli and Steak 

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