Friday, December 5, 2008

Potato gratin recipe by Alice Waters (Chez Panisse)

From Alice Waters, Author of The Art of Simple Food

Alice Waters

The Art of Simple FoodI like this best when the potatoes are sliced quite thin (a mandoline makes this easy): that way the potato slices are less likely to curl up and burn on the edges. Yukon Gold and other waxy, yellow-fleshed potatoes keep their texture in a gratin; floury potatoes like russets fall apart. --Alice Waters

Potato Gratin
(4 servings)

Rub a 9- by 12-inch gratin dish with:

Peel and slice about 1/16 inch thick:
4 large yellow potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds)

Make a layer of potato slices in the gratin dish, overlapping them slightly, like shingles.

Sprinkle with:
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

Continue to layer the potato slices, seasoning each layer, until the potatoes are used up. You should have two or, at the most, three layers. Carefully pour over the potatoes:
1 cup milk

The liquid should come up to the bottom of the top layer of potatoes. Add more if necessary. Generously dot the top of the potatoes with:
3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Bake in a 350°F oven until browned and bubbling, about 1 hour. Halfway through the baking, take the gratin dish out of the oven and press the potatoes flat with a metal spatula to keep the top moist. Return to the oven and keep checking. The gratin is done when the potatoes are soft and the top is golden brown.

• Peel and smash a garlic clove and rub it all over the inside of the gratin dish before buttering it.
• Use duck fat instead of butter.
• Use heavy cream or a mixture of half-and-half and cream. Omit the butter.
• Substitute celery root, parsnip, or turnip slices for up to half the potatoes.
• Add chopped herbs such as thyme, parsley, chives, or chervil between the layers.
• Sauté mushrooms, sorrel, spinach, or leeks, and layer them between the potato slices.
• Sprinkle grated Gruyère or Parmesan cheese on each layer and sprinkle more on top for the last 15 minutes of baking.

Named the most influential figure in the past 30 years of the American kitchen by Gourmet magazine, Alice Waters is the owner of Chez Panisse restaurant and the author of nine cookbooks.

Buy The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution Amazon

Find other great recipes by Alice Waters on Great Chefs page:
- Baked Goat Cheese with Garden Lettuces
- Moroccan chicken with dates
- Pork Loin Stuffed with Wild Plums and Rosemary
- Roast Pork Loin with Rosemary and Fennel
- Potato Gratin
- Red and Golden Beets with Blood Orange, Endive, and Walnuts
- Zucchini Fritters
- Rasberry Jam
- Strawberry Sherbet
-Vin de pêche

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