I read several recipes and took a bit from each one as far as technique goes. The flavors I came up with myself, and really, they couldn't be tastier. :D
(Sorry the food photography is a bit lacking in this one - I finished very late at night. Bad lighting, ahoy!)
Step 1: Ingredients!
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup chives, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 medium russet potatoes
- a few cloves of garlic
- butter for coating the dish
- salt and pepper
- small saucepan
- mandoline or sharp knife
- large bowl full of water to keep potatoes from browning
- small oven safe baking dish
Step 2: Peel the potatoes and get the cream going!
Peel your potatoes and place them in the bowl of water.
Now, mince the cloves of garlic, and put the garlic and cream in the saucepan over low heat. Add some salt and pepper and stir. Stir the cream every once and a while during the rest of the prep work.
Step 3: Prepare the cheese and chives, butter the dish.
Shred about a 1/2 cup of the cheese, and combine with the chives. Set this aside.
Take a piece of paper towel or napkin and apply a dab of butter to it. Rub the dish with it, making sure to cover all the surfaces with butter.
Step 4: Slice the potatoes!
Keep in mind that the potatoes need to be very thin, around 1/8th of an inch.
I cut one potato at a time and layered in between cutting. :)
Step 5: Layering the potatoes!
Continue twice more, using equal amounts of cream and cheese/chive mixture.
Step 6: Baking and final thoughts/suggestions!
The potatoes were still slightly firm, but not raw at all. The trick seems to be heating up the cream so that the potatoes almost boil in it in the oven instead of sitting in cold liquid for thirty minutes. I believe this is why my previous attempts failed. ;)
If you want your potatoes very soft, you'll need to parboil them for a few minutes and then slice and layer. I don't know that this can be achieved otherwise! Covering the dish with foil might also help a bit, I thought of this afterwards.
Oh, and other good flavor combinations:
- parmesan and onion
- emmenthal and shallots
And if anyone has any good tips, please share! I'm still learning this one. :D