New Potato Gratin with White Cheddar and Bacon
Preheat oven to 375°F
8 strips bacon
1 leek, cleaned, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced, white and very light green parts only
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pounds new potatoes, thoroughly washed and sliced ⅛ inch thick, rinsed.
4 clove garlic, peeled and very finely chopped
½ pound White Cheddar cheese, finely grated.
3 cups heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces.
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
¼ cup dried bread crumbs
Unsalted butter, softened, to grease casserole
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a large casserole dish with the softened butter. Set aside.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and place the bacon in a single layer over the parchment. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the bacon is cooked but not crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. When the bacon has cooled, squeeze the bacon between paper towels to thoroughly remove all the grease. Coarsely chop the bacon and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon each of unsalted butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the sliced leeks and saute just until beginning to soften. Remove from heat and set aside.
Working in layers, starting with the potatoes, line the dish with an even layer of sliced potatoes, overlapping to completely cover bottom of baking dish. Scatter some of the sautéed leeks and chopped bacon over the potatoes.
Next, sprinkle a small amount of each cheese over the potato layer. Lightly salt and pepper, then add a little of the chopped garlic and the minced fresh thyme.
Repeat this process, reserving about a half cup of the cheese and 1 teaspoon of the minced thyme to top the gratin.
You should have about 4 nice layers when you are finished. Now pour the heavy cream over the layers SLOWLY. Use just enough cream to thinly cover the potatoes, no more. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake in pre-heated oven for 50 minutes to an hour. At this point, check the potatoes for doneness.
When potatoes are tender, remove the foil and sprinkle remaining cheese, bread crumbs and rosemary and return the oven, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes to brown.
Rosemary Potato Wedges
4 Russet or baking potatoes
¼ cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
5 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, removed from stems and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a stainless steel baking sheet with parchment.
Scrub potatoes and cut in half length-wise. Cut each half in half once more. Now, depending on the size of the potato, cut each potato quarter into wedges. You will want to cut each quarter into 3 to 4 wedges.
Pour the vegetable oil in a large bowl. Toss in the potato wedges and coat the wedges thoroughly with the oil. Spread oil coated potato wedges evenly over the parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Season potatoes with salt and pepper then evenly sprinkle the chopped rosemary over the potatoes and place in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the potato wedges. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 250°F oven until ready to serve.
1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled
½ cup unsalted butter, clarified
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Slice the potatoes as thin as possible using a mandoline or Japanese slicer, transferring them as they are sliced to a large bowl of cold water.
Drain the slices and pat them dry between paper towels. Generously brush the bottom and side of a 9 inch heavy ovenproof skillet, preferably nonstick, with some of the clarified butter and in the skillet arrange the slices, overlapping them slightly, in layers, brushing each layer with some of the remaining butter and seasoning it with salt and pepper.
Cover the layered potato slices with a buttered round foil, tamp down the assembled potato cake firmly, and bake it in the middle of a preheated 425F oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake the potato cake for 25 to 30 minutes more, or until the slices are tender and golden.
Invert the potato cake onto a cutting board and cut it into 8 wedges.