Monday, August 29, 2011

Potato-Portobello Gratin

I've been neglecting sides lately.

Entrees? Covered.

Desserts? I got you.  

But sides haven't been getting much love.  Enter the Potato-Portobello Gratin.  

The first gratin I made was a Broccoli Gratin, which was quite tasty.  Since then I've been interested in making another gratin, but I never quite got around to it.  I stumbled across this quick side dish a while ago so I finally made time to whip it up.

Potato-Portobello Gratin
slightly adapted from Alton Brown's recipe

  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 2 Portobello mushroom caps, sliced thinly
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

    1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cheese for the top of the gratin.

    2) Thinly slice the potatoes into rounds.  (If you're fancy, you can use a mandolin for this.  I didn't have one so I worked on my knife skills.)

    Tip: I kept the potatoes in a bowl of water as I went along to prevent browning.

    3) For the first layer, lay the slices in overlapping rows on the bottom of the pan.  Lightly season the first layer with salt and pepper.

    4) Place the mushroom cap slices on top of the potatoes.

    5) Scatter a thin layer of dill over the mushrooms.

    6) Spread a handful of the cheese over the dill.

    7) Repeat Steps 3-6 until the gratin is completed.  Don't press down on the gratin while you are building it.  Otherwise, the cream won't be able to get between the layers.

    8) Pour the cream over the gratin.  You may not need to use the entire 3/4 cup of cream.  Pour until you see the cream at the top of the gratin or until you run out of cream.

    9) Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of reserved cheese over the top of the gratin.

    10) Cover the baking dish loosely with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  The gratin is done when you can easily pierce the potatoes with a sharp knife.

    11) If the gratin is done, remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes.  You can also use a broiler for this step.*

    12) Remove the baking dish and allow the gratin to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before cutting into it and serving.

    * I have a confession: The broiler tray of the oven is storing baking trays and I was too lazy to move them in order to use the broiler.  So there. Now you know.

    Overall, I like this side dish.  I didn't love it, however.  You guys already know me, right? So you wouldn't be surprised if I told you that I wanted more cheese in this.  There was also something else missing, but I can't quite put my finger on what it might be.  Here's what I did like: the potatoes were tender, the portobellos were still a little firm and the dill provided a nice fresh flavor.

    So there ya go.  This dish doesn't quite stack up to my Broccoli Gratin, but I am not discouraged. It's time to try, try again.


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