Sunday, March 31, 2013

Buttermilk Potato Gratin

I've only had potato gratin once and it turned me right off - it was soupy. But you know how some things change over time, things you didn't like are enjoyable, things you loved are gross? Maybe that would be the case with potato gratins. Mostly though I selected this one because I had buttermilk to use.

My biggest dilemma was determining whether I needed to buy a 1-quart gratin dish as specified in the original recipe. Instead I used the 9" pie plate, the one that is good for a pie or a tart or maybe a clafoutis. It couldn't have worked out any better.

Buttermilk Potato Gratin
from Cooking Club of America
click to print

1 lb. red-skinned potatoes, peeled
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c whole milk
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Dash ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp butter

Heat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom and sides of 9" pie dish.

Cut potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick slices; place in large saucepan. Add buttermilk, milk, garlic, salt, white pepper, nutmeg and ground red pepper.

Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. (Buttermilk will curdle, but potato starch will thicken and smooth the liquid as it cooks.) Cook 5 minutes.

Pour into gratin dish. Press potatoes into even layer, making sure all potatoes are covered with liquid.

That whole "cover the potatoes with liquid" thing didn't work like it was supposed to but I pressed on.

Sprinkle evenly with cheese; dot with butter.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender. Serve warm.

The potatoes looked absolutely gorgeous! The buttermilk sure is tangy, almost too tangy. Every other bite, I thought I should've made the buttermilk:milk ratio 1:1. Then I'd have a bite with cheese. The cheese is a perfect balance for that tang. The potatoes are perfect - tender but not too much so and wound up a very nice contrast to the rest of my fruity-sweet plate. Unfortunately, while not incredibly soupy, I exactly fond of how wet they were. Moist = good, wet = wet.

Total: $2.65 or about $0.66 for each of four big servings.