Bear with me because this the dish that you are going to bring to all of your holiday potlucks and people are going to be falling all over you telling you how deelish it is. Women will faint, grown men will cry, that is how good it is.
Despite my recent post about wanting to eat nothing but vegetables after the Thanksgiving gorge-fest, I looked at the remaining potatoes from my Thanksgiving stash and decided to make a gratin. As I perused my stash of cookbooks, I was thinking, "Who can I count on for a really luscious recipe?"
Nigella Lawson, that's who.
I love her. She's pretty. She has that droll, dry sense of humor that makes anyone who isn't British feel like a schlub. She mocks vegetarians. She's a home cook and doesn't pretend to be anything but.
She's been in my mind ever since I read this article where she denounces critics who think she's "fat." She most certainly isn't, but she's not a toothpick either. Interestingly she says:
In my experience, the weight thing is an almost totally female problem. I never feel bad about my weight around men, only women. Women act like it is somehow a moral failing to have hips.
So anyway, back to the potatoes.
She calls her gratin "Bread Sauce-Flavored Potato Gratin" I call it the best gratin I've ever had. I usually make the gratins from the Jacques and Julia cookbook, but now I'm only making this. You know that problem where the gratin has been in the oven for an hour and yet the potatoes are still raw in the middle? That ain't happening with this.
I try very hard not to reprint recipes exactly as written in the cookbook (in this case; Feast) because, well, I just feel uncomfortable doing it. But in searching to see if this recipe was on a Nigella site somewhere, I came across someone who made it and posted it. Let's pretend I didn't post the link and I'll give you my tips:
- I used 2 cups of 1% milk and a pint of heavy cream for the liquid
- I used a 5 quart covered saute pan. I recommend you use the same size, no smaller.
- 4.5 pounds of waxy (not floury) potatoes and sliced them thinly (far thinner than 1cm)
- omitted the mace because I didn't have it on hand
- everything went into a 9" x 13" glass baking pan
It went into the oven at 425º for 15 minutes (after the intial 20 mins. of stove cooking, see link above), then I turned the oven off and kept it in for another 10. I removed it from the oven and let it sit about 10 minutes before serving.
If my kids don't like something I reintroduce it. Often. I mean like it never goes away and they will learn to like it eventually. I've pushed potatoes on my kids for about 4 years. Bunny anyway. This is the year she finally decided she loves them. She declared the gratin "yummy!" and loved "the cream." Tonight this was dinner along with steamed broccoli tossed with fruity olive oil and Meyer lemon juice. So satisfying. Soooo good.