During this past week while I’ve been away from home on my last getaway of the summer before I must get back into the regular routine, I had the opportunity to cook dinner for my mother and family friends. Keeping it casual, but wanting to eat decadent and in season as much as possible, I decided to serve the following menu:
- Appetizer – roasted shrimp and dill sauce bruschetta
- Wine – Seven Hills Pinot Gris
- Dinner – Pendleton Whisky Steaks top with homemade aioli, a fresh vegetable salad and potatoes au gratin (recipe shown below)
- Dessert – Marionberry Crostata topped with vanilla bean ice cream
There is something wonderful about making a meal for friends and family that helps out, serves as a brief respite from the busy events of the day and welcomes energetic and lively discussion. Such a situation took place on this particular evening, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Potatoes Au Gratin
adapted from a recipe by Barefoot Contessa
- 1 yellow onion – thinly sliced
- 2 pounds red potatoes – thinly sliced (peeled if preferred, but not necessary)
- 2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups of grated Gruyere cheese (1/2 pound)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter the inside of a 10x15x2-inch (10 cup) baking dish or round baking dish.
3. Sauté the onions in the olive oil and butter on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until tender.
4. Peel the potatoes (optional), then thinly slice them by hand or with a mandoline. Mix the sliced potatoes in a large bowl with 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyère, salt, and pepper. Add the sautéed onion and mix well.
5. Pour the potatoes into the baking dish. Press down to smooth the potatoes. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 1/2 cup of Gruyère and sprinkle on the top.
6. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly. Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve.