Saturday, April 3, 2010

Au Gratin Potatoes

I'm spending today preparing for Easter and my daughter Tricia's birthday.  I have two cheesecakes in the oven (one crust-free for gluten sensitivity).  Tricia's birthday cake will go in the oven as soon as the cheesecakes make their exit.  She's requested a chocolate fudge cake with buttercream frosting.  I've already made fondant daisies and leaves for decoration (getting fondant confident!).  Katie's taking care of dinner.  She has a ham and all the fixings.  I'm excited for the au gratin potatoes she's decided to serve, a very nice accompaniment to an Easter ham.

This recipe for au gratin potatoes comes from Southern Food and uses red-skinned potatoes, though they are peeled.  You can use whatever potatoes you have on hand.  Onion, garlic, and cheedar cheese provide the classic au gratin flavor. 

•2 to 2 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes
•2 tablespoons butter
•1/2 cup diced onion
•2 small cloves garlic, minced
•1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
•2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
•1 1/2 cups milk
•1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
•salt and pepper, to taste


Peel potatoes and slice thinly. Rinse and cover with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until tender; add minced garlic and parsley. Stir in flour and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk, cooking and stirring over medium-low heat until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted and sauce is smooth.

Arrange sliced potatoes in a 2 to 2 1/2-quart casserole, sprinkling layers with salt and pepper. Pour sauce evenly over potatoes. Cover dish and cook at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

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