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Monday, March 23, 2009

Scalloped Potato Gratin

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Many of you may have noted that the majority of my recipes are not very low-calorie, low-carb or low-fat. This recipe is no exception; it is what I like to call "high-flavor". The unfortunate result of our evolutionary years and many years of famine, our bodies usually want to store as much fat as possible when they can and for that reason we think that salt, fat, sugar and starches are tasty. We are right. This recipe has it all.

This recipe is good for a party or a large family. The dish stores and reheats well, so don't be put off by the portions.

You will need:

5lb bag of russet potatoes

Enough skim milk to cover two-thirds of the potatoes once they are in the pot

1 medium sweet yellow onion

Salt and pepper

A pinch of ground nutmeg

4-5oz of your favorite cheese (I prefer a nice Gouda)

Enough freshly grated parmesan to cover the top of the dish before baking

Peel and rinse your potatoes. Carefully avoiding the loss of a digit, slice the potatoes very thin, somewhere between potato chip and a wedge, about 1/8th of an inch. Place them in a stockpot and add enough skim milk to cover about 2/3 of the potatoes. Turn heat on medium, checking the milk occasionally to see if it is boiling. Once it is boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the potatoes simmer. Slice the onion paper thin and gently sauté them until they have sweat. Add the sautéed onions, a pinch of grated nutmeg, salt and pepper, the cheese and the bay leaves to the potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are al dente. Remove the bay leaves and transfer the potatoes into a large baking dish and cover with the freshly grated parmesan. Be careful to not leave too much liquid in the baking dish when you transfer. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 375 degrees with the potatoes covered with aluminum foil. Allow to brown for 5-10 minutes and then serve.

This dish can be modified many ways. You can vary the type of cheese. You can experiment with fresh herbs or add a protein. Diced ham is what my grandmother uses, but you can use any protein as long as it isn't too greasy. I hope that you enjoy this recipe and that you impress your friends with a beautiful gratin!