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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Oh so rich Potato Gratin


I made this recipe for our Christmas dinner. It was a huge hit. Well, of course, it was! It's so darn rich you'd have to be crazy not to love it. I pulled this recipe from the New York Times Temporary Vegetarian column. My recipe below is adapted from the NY Times recipe since I found the cooking times in the original total fantasy. Sometimes I wonder if the recipes are tested. This recipe came from a restaurant chef, so I have to assume he did make it. But, I'm thinking something got lost in the translation to a recipe for home cooks.

As with my "slim" potato gratin recipe (see here), a mandoline makes the process of slicing the potatoes much easier. You can slice the potatoes by hand. They will probably come out a bit thicker and less even, but it will still work out ok.

Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin
(serves 10 - 12)

Adapted from DBGB Kitchen & Bar, Manhattan, via the New York Times

1 pound Swiss Chard Leaves And Slender Stems, stems cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes
2 ½ cups Heavy Cream
1 Garlic Clove, smashed
1 small Shallot, sliced
2 Thyme Sprigs
1 Bay Leaf
¼ teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
3 pounds (6 to 8 medium) Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled
1 Tablespoon Butter, at room temperature
Salt And Black Pepper
6 ounces Grated Gruyère

1. Heat the oven to 350°F, and place rack in the center. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; set a bowl of ice water on the side. Boil the chard leaves until tender, 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to the ice water. Squeeze them dry and chop roughly. Boil the diced stems until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well and add to chopped chard leaves.

2. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, garlic, shallot, thyme and bay leaf to a simmer over medium-low. Watch carefully because cream can boil over quickly. Reduce heat to low and simmer to reduce somewhat, about 30 minutes. Strain out the solids and add the nutmeg.

3. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes into ⅛-inch-thick rounds with a mandoline or sharp knife. Butter a 12- to 14-inch gratin dish or dutch oven. Make sure that it is at least 4" high. Start with a layer of one-third of the potatoes, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper. Add half the Swiss chard,  and one-third of the Gruyère cheese. Dribble on one-third of the cream mixture. Layer on another third of the potatoes, salt and pepper, the other half of Swiss chard, and another third of the cream and Gruyère. Finish up with the rest of the potatoes, salt and pepper, the remaining cream, and the rest of the cheese.

4. Bake until the top is browned and the potatoes are fork-tender, about 1 hour, 15 minutes.

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