When Paul asked what I wanted for my birthday meal this week, I immediately blurted out 'lots of potatoes!' Paul smirked, ok, so nothing new here. Upon further consideration, I requested a potato dish that was both creamy and crispy, pungent with garlic and goat cheese. This aromatic Potato Goat Cheese Gratin was the magnificent result, which I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This recipe is adapted from one of our favorite cookbook authors, James Peterson. It forgoes a bechamel or cream sauce since the high starch content of the potatoes eliminates the need for additional thickeners. For a crisp fall day, nothing beats the smell of slow roasting garlic, goat cheese, and potatoes!
Yield: Serves 6
- 2 1/2 pounds red/waxy/new potatoes, washed
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 head garlic, peeled and minced/crushed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 pound fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Lightly butter or oil a large casserole dish (I used a 3 quart cast iron).
- In a small bowl, whisk together half-and-half, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne. Set mixture aside.
- Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible. This is easiest and fastest with a mandolin, but can be accomplished with a sharp knife as well.
- To build the the gratin, you will alternate layers of potatoes, half-and-half mixture, and goat cheese. In my 3 quart casserole I had 8 layers of each, but yours will depend on the size of your container and the thickness of your potato slices. Start with a layer of potatoes, barely overlapping each slice to form a one-slice-deep layer across the casserole. Evenly pour about 1/4 cup of the half-and-half mixture over the potato layer. Then crumble about 1/8th of the goat cheese. Repeat with another layer of each until you have finished all your ingredients.
- Top with the cheddar cheese, and bake for 1 hour. The liquid should have been absorbed by the potatoes, the potatoes should be cooked through (a knife will easily penetrate the gratin), and the top should be golden brown and bubbly.
- Allow the gratin to cool for 20 minutes before digging in. This allows the potatoes to absorb the remaining liquid. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge and is great reheated as a leftover.