Vodka production involves the use of a key ingredient, starch or sugar rich plant: potatoes. How curious! After all, the world’s most famous tuber is a multi-use one. Packed with vitamins and minerals, potatoes also make nutritious and delicious dishes like Potatoes au Gratin.
Potato is part of the order Solanales, making it a cousin of sweet potato and cassava. This starchy vegetable packed with energy is available all year round. Potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, B6, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and many more. It can be great for a healthy lifestyle, as long as fats are not added to it during the cooking process.
There are around 4,000 types of potatoes, which are grouped in as russet, red, white, yellow and purple. Russet type, with netted skin, fluffy, floury texture and earthy taste, is used largely for plant research and the production of the famous McDonald’s french fries. Red type, with red skin, waxy, creamy texture and subtle sweetness, is great baked and for some good old potato salad. While the white type, with pale yellow skin, white meat, slightly dense and creamy texture and subtle sweetness, is popular for making mashed and boiled potatoes. Yellow type, with golden skin, velvet and moist texture and buttery and subtle sweetness, is popular for grilling and roasting. The last but not least type of potato is the purple, with purple/blue skin, moist texture and nutty and earthy taste. Good for roasting, grilling, salads and baking. Please visit Potato Goodness for more information on potatoes.
Since the variety of potatoes is so large, the creative dishes would not be small either. Potatoes can be boiled, baked, fried, grilled, mashed, roasted, and in many other styles of cooking. Potatoes au gratin incorporate the beautiful potatoes into a nice cheesy béchamel sauce, making it a perfect comfort food. The type of potatoes can be different from the one used in the recipe, although I would recommend either white or yellow type for better results. You can try with other types, and also let me know about your results. This recipe is a good for experimenting different types of potato, cheese, and other additional ingredient wished.
Homemade Potatoes au Gratin
- 1 kg Bonnotte potatoes, thinly sliced
- 3 cups béchamel Sauce
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 100 mL heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cup mixed mozzarella, gruyère, parmesan cheese
- 3 cups milk, whole
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoon flour
Add hot water to a bowl, and wash the potatoes skins carefully. Use a new brush or sponge to wash them properly, no need for detergent. Wash the potatoes well. After brushing the potatoes, rinse them and once again brush them in hot water. Rinse for the last time, and start to thinly slice the potatoes.
Add 2 1/2 cup of milk, nutmeg, pepper, salt, butter and herbs in a pot and place it in the stove, medium heat. In a small bowl add the flour, and slowly pour the rest of the milk (1/2 cup). Once it forms a paste without any lump, add it to the warm milk mixture. Turn up the heat, and mix the milk mixture with flour constantly. Once it gets hot, the mixture will start to thicken up. As soon as you achieve the right consistency, turn off the stove, and get ready to assemble the potatoes.
- In an oven safe bakeware, add a thin layer of béchamel sauce.
- Next add a layer of potatoes and onions on top of the béchamel sauce.
- Distribute a layer of mixed parmesan and mozzarella cheese over the potatoes.
- Repeat steps 1-3 two more times, depending on the size of your bakeware.
- Add the heavy whipping cream to the dish. Remember there needs to have enough fluid so the potatoes can cook.
Preheat the oven at 200 °C (390 °F) for 10 minutes, and place the bakeware for baking. As soon as 30 minutes have passed, poke the potatoes with a small knife to verify if it is ready. It takes around 30 – 50 minutes to cook the potatoes. Once confirmed the potatoes cook, turn on the broiler for a minute or two to brown the potatoes. Afterwards, turn off the oven.
Eat the beautiful dish potatoes au gratin with anything from beef to lamb, and also enjoy it!
Until next time, my Hungry People.