Winter is here in full force. Though we do have less snow than predicted. It is cold though- 19 degrees F this morning. But the sun comes out and all is good. I am seriously ready for cross-country skiing and some downhill. Cmon Snow!
When it is cold outside something hot and creamy and filling suits the bill. Especially when served along side a grilled ribeye. Medium Rare. And some grilled asparagus. Dinner is ready. The key to this dish of potatoes is prep. And it takes an hour and half in the oven. And thirty minutes of prep. So plan accordingly.
Of course, once the potatoes are in the oven, you have 45 minutes to enjoy a great glass of Pinot Noir. Or maybe two.
Au Gratin Potatoes
2 1/2 Lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 Sweet Onion, medium sliced thin.
2 1/4 C Milk DO NOT use fat free
1 C Sharp Cheddar Cheese grated
3/4 C Gruyere Cheese Grated
4 T Flour
4 T Butter
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
2 T minced garlic. (Use the store bought for this- works wonderfully)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional: Buttered bread crumbs for the topping (See below for details)
Putting It Together:
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice your vegetables- slice the onion crosswise into very thin strips. Slice your potatoes crosswise into very thin slices.
Arrange the sliced potatoes a greased casserole dish on their sides. So you can see the skin. Not flat. Mix in the onions between the slices.
Melt the butter and mix in the flour- use a whisk to avoid any lumps and cook the mixture till turning golden. Add in the milk, thyme, garlic, mustard and stir constantly till mixture is thickening and coats a spoon. Remove from heat and add in the cheddar till melted. Then add in the gruyere. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the potatoe/onion casserole.
Cover with tin foil and bake in oven for 60 minutes. Take off tin foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Top will be brown in spots and a little bubbly along the edges. At this point you can let it stand for 10 minutes and go right to the eating!
Or, can add an optional crunchy topping. If you want to top with crunch, use 1/2 cup panko and 2 T melted butter. Change oven to broil on high. Sprinkle crunch over casserole. Place back in oven for about 1 minute and half. Watch closely. Will be done when the crunch is brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.