Southern Living (December 2010)
The holidays call for show-stopper dishes.
We're thinking big beef tenderloins, glorious fresh-baked breads and towering cakes: the kinds of dishes that are brought out to the dining room "with quiet pride," as Nigella would say, to be met with oohs and ahhs.
What we're not thinking when we think about show-stoppers?
We whip them, we bake them, we smash them. Sometimes, we arrange them all funny in a pan and bake them till their crispy, which is wonderful, but still isn't quite a show-stopper.
Well, get ready to see potatoes in a whole new light, because this Potato Gratin with Rosemary Crust is one of our new favorite dishes.
Those who have been reading the blog for a long time are probably thinking the same thing we did initially, that this Potato Gratin is awfully similar to the Root Vegetable Gratin we made nearly two years ago. Both dishes feature layered root vegetables baked until they're beautifully tender.
But there are a few things that set this Gratin apart. Mostly, they involve things that aren't good for you (but, hey! It's the holidays!).
The first is the crust, made with two store-bought pie crusts, the sort that you find in the refrigerated section and can roll out. The idea is a simple one: Unfold a crust, top it with cheese, pepper and rosemary, lay a second crust on top of it and then roll them out to your desired size. It's easy and can be done with very little mess.
The second thing that sets this dish apart is the wonderfully layered mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, Gruyere cheese and heavy cream. Really, how could you go wrong?
If we have one point of advice for making this gratin, it's that you may need to cook it slightly longer than the recipe recommends. We baked ours for the recommended 1 hour covered, followed by an additional 25 minutes uncovered. Making this again, we'd probably bake it covered for an hour and ten minutes, as a few of our potatoes could have spent just a tad longer in the oven, to get that lovely soft texture.
Southern Living recommends serving this as a side dish for tenderloin or something similarly big for the holidays, and we think it would be an amazing dish to serve at a holiday meal.
But we also think this an excellent vegetarian meal on its own. We've eaten it the last two nights with a simple green salad on the side, and we can't wait to eat it a third time!
It's warm, delicious and just the kind of comforting food you want when the temperature drops, or when friends and family gather at the holidays.
Total: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: Makes 10 servings
- 1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs
1. Preheat oven to 450°. Unroll piecrusts on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle rosemary, pepper, and 1/2 cup cheese over 1 piecrust; top with remaining piecrust. Roll into a 13-inch circle. Press on bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan; fold edges under. Chill.
2. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice Yukon gold and sweet potatoes.
3. Layer one-third each of Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, and salt in prepared crust. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers twice, pressing layers down slightly to fit.
4. Microwave cream and garlic in a 1-cup microwave-safe measuring cup at HIGH 45 seconds; pour over potato layers in pan. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Cover pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet.
5. Bake at 450° for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 25 minutes or until potatoes are done and crust is richly browned. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully transfer to a serving plate, and remove sides of pan. If desired, carefully slide gratin off bottom of pan using a long knife or narrow spatula. Garnish, if desired.