Sunday, December 25, 2011

Au Gratin Potatoes

Recipe from Pillsbury
Adapted and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves 6

This dish was the big hit at this year’s Christmas Eve dinner with the family.  The great thing was that I could make it ahead, which allowed me to spend time with my loved ones.  I served it with Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Cider Vinegar Sauce and steamed carrots with dill butter for a very special holiday dinner.  Yummy!

¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup skim milk or whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (I used ¾ cup white sharp cheese plus ¼ cup habanero cheddar cheese.)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cubes (thawed) Dorot Frozen Chopped Chili, optional
5 cups sliced cooked potatoes (I used 6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick.)  (Cook the potatoes only until they are barely done.  You should be able to easily pierce them with a knife.  They should not fall apart because if they do, your potatoes will turn mushy in the casserole.)
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs (I used seasoned bread crumbs because that’s what I had in my pantry.)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Place the cooked potato slices in a 2-quart casserole dish.  In a medium saucepan, melt ¼ cup butter.  Stir in flour and stir while cooking the flour for about 1 minute.  Add the milk and cream.  Stir to combine.   Cook until the mixture boils and thicken, stirring constantly.  Stir in the cheeses and chopped chili, if using.  Pour cheese mixture over the potatoes and toss so that the potatoes are coated.  Combine the breadcrumbs with 1 Tablespoon butter.  Sprinkle this over the potatoes. **
Bake, uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly. 

Tip:  To make ahead, prepare to **, cool and chill up to 2 days.  To serve, increase the baking time to 35 to 40 minutes.

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