Friday, November 11, 2016

On its side, potato gratin

Looking at something from another angle can help give you fresh perspective on things, quite literally this time. I am a carb lover, perhaps not fashionable but I can’t get enough of the white stuff, bread, potatoes, pastas, béchamel, bring it on! Nothing really hits that comfort spot better than something carby, warm, oozy and unctuously rich. Potato gratin hits all the right notes, but I always find myself picking at the top layer and loving every square centimetre, the lower layers however good and tasty they are just are not the same as that browned, burnt around the edges, melted cheese, brown cream skinned top.

But why not tip it on it’s head, or side, or do potatoes have a top side? Right anyway I digress. The thought was if I forgo the layering and stacked the potato slices vertically in the dish then every slice would have that crunchy golden edge and the lower half would be cream soaked soft goodness.

You will need:
Enough potatoes for your dish.
Cream, enough to come halfway up the potatoes.
1 Onion, thinly sliced
2 Cloves garlic, crushed
Cheese, Parmesan, Cheddar, Gruyère are all good choices

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  • Pour the cream into a bowl and add a tsp of salt, some crushed black pepper, crushed garlic, stir up and give a little taste, you want it slightly on the salty side.
  • Thinly slice the onion and add to the cream. Mix.
  • A mandolin will make light work of the potatoes, peel and slice them all, dump them in the bowl and with your hands make sure they all get coated.
  • Arrange the potatoes in the baking dish, squidge onion slices down any gaps and in between potato slices.
  • Pour over the remaining cream from the bowl.
  • Cover tightly with tinfoil and bake for about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 30 minutes. Grate cheese over the top and bake for a further 30 minutes.
  • The top should be golden brown and crunchy while the underside should be soft and yielding. You can test by whipping out a slice or two to check doneness.