Saturday, February 14, 2009

Potatoes Au Gratin a la Suzee

Today is Valentine's Day, and Rick and I decided to stay in figuring that the city restaurants would be full of people trying to make a spark or remember romance, and there would be lots of bumping and expensive drinks. It's my gift to him, and our anniversary is coming up soon, so we'll be heading to One if by Land, Two if by Sea for that lovely occasion (5 years, can you believe it?). So creating a lovely romantic evening at home is nice :)

Rick brought home some steaks yesterday, and a nice little heart shaped cheese cake. I asked him what he would like along with the steaks, and he paused. Potatoes au gratin. OK. I haven't made these in a while, but hey, I'm game. He really wasn't too interested in a vegetable, but I picked up some spinach. Gotta have something healthy.

I perused the web and saw this blog posting. I remembered that I have my Betty Crocker with me :) This blogger also had an entry for the Barefoot Contessa's Chicken with Forty Cloves. I have that book, but it's in storage. At any rate it gave me an idea. Rick and I love roasted garlic (so nutty and sweet!), and this dish bakes for a total of an hour and 40 minutes. So, I decided to add in a few fat cloves which I sliced to the dish. And, I substituted smoked gouda for the sharp cheddar, and added more onions.

So here is the recipe:
4 cups sliced potatoes (1/8th of an inch thick - a manoline is helpful if you have one - I left the skins on - gotta get some fiber into my sweety)

1 large onion peeled and sliced (same 1/8th inch setting)

6 or 7 fat cloves of garlic peeled and sliced

1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup)

1T flour

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups whole milk

2 cups shredded smoked gouda

1/4 cup fine bread crumbs (I used a stale piece of crusty bread whizzed up in the food processor)

Slice up the potatoes and layer them in an ungreased 1.5 quart dish.

Slice up the onions.
Melt the butter on medium low in a pot, and add the onions, salt and pepper.

As the onions cook, peel and slice the garlic. Add that to the pot.
Add the flour and stir it around for a minute or 2 to cook the flour.

Add the milk and all but a 1/2C of the cheese and stir continuously until it starts to bubble. Keep in on the heat and keep stirring for another minute or so to thicken.
Pour the cheese mixuture on to the potatoes.
Pop the potatoes onto a cookie sheet (to catch spills) and put it all in the oven at 325 for 1 hour 20 minutes uncovered.
Mix the breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese.
Once the potatoes are done, pull them out and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top. Pop them back in for another 20 minutes.
Voila - Potatoes Au Gratin a la Suzee :)

Dinner was very delicious - these potatoes are most amazing with beef. Enjoy!