Sunday, February 14, 2016

Recipe 4 from the New York Times 20 Best of 2015 - Cheesy Hasselback Potato Gratin

Fantastic Potatoes, the best of both Hasselback and Au Gratin

So continuing on my journey through the New York Times 20 Best New Recipes of 2015, tonight I made #4 Cheesy Hasselback Potato Gratin.  I am a potato lover - boiled, fried, mashed, baked, roasted; I love potatoes any way, shape and form.

Hasselback potatoes are of Swedish origin and it's basically a whole potato (sometimes peeled, sometimes not) which is sliced along it's length about 3/4 of the way through. It's then drizzled with butter and often topped with bread crumbs and/or cheese and baked so the potatoes are crispy outside and creamy soft inside. The name is derived from the restaurant where they were first introduced in the 1940s, Hasselbacken in Stockholm, Sweden which opened in that city in 1748 and where they are called hasselbackspotatis. 

How to Make Hasselback Potato Video

What we know as Au Gratin Potatoes or Potatoes Au Gratin is actually a dish called Gratin Dauphinois and it is also a simple dish of sliced potatoes cooked in cream with cheese.

How to Make Gratin Dauphinois (or Potatos au Gratin) Video

Emily Weinstein of the New York Times has taken a recipe from the acclaimed food science writer J. Kenji López-Alt which is a brilliant mash up of both dishes.  

I loved this dish and I even had someone who "isn't really a potato person" eat their entire serving. It truly is THAT good.  For me, this dish was very quick and easy to put together and the timing of the cooking was spot on - 90 minutes - so I was able to plan my whole meal around the potatoes baking time and everything was done and on the table together.


3 ounces finely grated Gruyère cheese
2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 cups heavy cream
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped (I used dried)
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 to 4 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick (7 to 8 medium potatoes)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine cheeses in a large bowl. 

Transfer 1/3 of cheese mixture to a separate bowl and set aside. 

Add cream, garlic and thyme to cheese mixture. 

Season generously with salt and pepper. 

Add potato slices and toss with your hands until every slice is coated with cream mixture, making sure to separate any slices that are sticking together to get the cream mixture in between them.

Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with butter. 

Pick up a handful of potatoes, organizing them into a neat stack, and lay them in the casserole dish with their edges aligned vertically. 

Continue placing potatoes in the dish, working around the perimeter and into the center until all the potatoes have been added. 

The potatoes should be very tightly packed. If necessary, slice an additional potato, coat with cream mixture, and add to casserole. 

Pour the excess cream/cheese mixture evenly over the potatoes until the mixture comes halfway up the sides of the casserole. 

Cover dish tightly with foil and transfer to the oven. 

Bake for 30 minutes. 

Remove foil and continue baking until the top is pale golden brown, about 30 minutes longer. 

Carefully remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and return to oven. 

Bake until deep golden brown and crisp on top, about 30 minutes longer. 

Remove from oven, let rest for a few minutes, and serve.

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