Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Pioneer Woman's Perfect Potatoes au Gratin

Spud Lovers Unite, I say!  I love potatoes.  I could eat them every day, and never tire of them. That's why I can't live a carb-free life.  I suppose I could give up bread, if I had to. But give up potatoes? Never!  What I don't eat very often are potatoes with melted cheese and heavy cream.  They're naughty. They're rich. They're mind-numbing delicious.  I made this dish well over a year ago.  I completely forgot about photos (taken from my old point-and-shoot camera), until I started to reorganize photos.  I have not forgotten how good these were.

Usually anything that I've made from The Pioneer Woman's Blog is good. I love Ree.  She epitomizes comfort food at it's best.  I can't make her recipes too often, though. Otherwise, I'd gain back the 20 plus pounds I lost, and have managed to keep off.  However, with  Easter Sunday menus being planned-- and I know that ham plays a major role for lots of folks--I think that this could be a perfect potato side dish for such an occasion.  I feel it is my duty to share this recipe with the rest of you, Dear Readers. If you're dieting, then just remember...  looking at photos are non-caloric.  Tempting, yes, but worth looking at. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!  Here we go:

The beauty of this potato "casserole" is that you use Russet potatoes.  They're inexpensive, and they're most likely on sale this time of year.  Just wash them, leave the peel on and cut them into even sized quarter-pieces. You also use lots of freshly minced garlic. Does it get any better than this?

In a separate bowl, whisk together heavy cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.  Yes, it does get even better...

After generously buttering a casserole dish, add a layer of the potatoes, add the cream mixture... add a layer of grated sharp cheddar cheese.  Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling.

Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving by the spoonful.

I don't even want to know how many weight watcher points one serving is.  Sometimes, you just have to live life a little on the edge.

TASTING NOTES:   Incredible. Like I said, it's creamy, rich, flavorful and I dare anyone to eat just a spoonful. Not possible.  These are good. Very good. Trust me. They're also very easy to make.  Can you use different potatoes, or different cheese? Of course, you can.  I like that this recipe uses pantry staples that you most likely have on hand.. except maybe heavy cream. But, um, that's a staple in my house. There, I said it.

I actually scaled this recipe way down, to make four servings.  I know myself too well.  This dish was served with a grilled steak and some locally grown broccoli.  A printable recipe is at the bottom of this post.

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Mary said...

It is potato paradise :-). The potatoes and your photos of them are really palate pleasers. Have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

bellini said...

I'm like you Debby and could never give up potatoes...bread maybe although I just had 2 small grilled cheese sandwiches:D

Kate said...

Why do I love potatoes so.....these look fantastic.

Joanne said...

Haha I'm definitely the opposite...could totally live without potatoes but could NEVER give up bread! Then again, that may be the recent tragedy of that potato gratin talking. I think it's time I get back on the horse. Looks absolutely lusciously decadent!

LittleAsianGirl BigAppetite said...

potatoes are so versatile you can do gazillions of dishes with them..these potatoes au gratin look amazing! so hearty and creamy..yumm

TKW said...

That Ree...everyone loves her. Well, actually, my ass doesn't love her, because these are a butt-buster but so delicious that I don't care. Getting out the sweatpants and making these for Easter!

Little Ms Blogger said...

Thank you for posting this recipe. I am planning on making potatoes au gratin for my monthly food pantry dinner this month (people bring canned food and I find them) and Easter.

I was wondering if I find a potato au gratin recipe or use the one from Betty Rosbottom I always use (very tasty - gruyere cheese).

I'm going to test out on hubby tomorrow.

Thanks again.

I Wilkerson said...

I just did something similar without the cheese (see I'll have to try this version as well-- once at least, I'm also worried about that 20 pounds!

Simple Simon said...

Aren't these just delicious? You can't go wrong with a Pioneer Woman's recipe and it looks like you did the potatoes justice, indeed!!

Allie said...

Cheesy potatoes!! You just can't go wrong. Especially from The Pioneer Woman!

Anonymous said...

Why would you leave the potato skins on? I never heard of this before. Last evening, I watched the Pioneer Woman's first Christmas show and was dumbfounded she left the skins on her potato casserole. It may taste delicious, but the looks of a dirty looking potato peel is just not that appealing to me.
Please explain. Is it to save time when cooking?
I would really like to know.
Thanks for your comments.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Dear Anonymous,
If you had emailed me (I list my email all over my blog) I could give you a personalized answer. So, if you check back I would tell you that I wouldn't want a dirty potato skin. That's why I scrub them! I happen to like the taste of potato skins, and I especially love eating an entire baked potato, skin and all. If you don't like skins, peel 'em off. We're fine with it.