Conquering Potatoes au Gratin – Pt 1

Making potato au gratin has always been ominous.  Because it is one of the two easy foods I consistently fail at making.  Lasagna and Potato Gratin, two simple standards, elude my grasp.  I can create more complicated dishes from the random contents of my fridge at the drop of a hat.  But ask me to make lazagna and I crawl into the corner.  It’s really quite sad, some of Ryan’s favorite foods are lasagna and potatoes.   My sister-in-law has a fall-back optimistic thought when she meets a food she can’t easily make, “but I make d*** good fried chicken”.  So at least I can make a mean Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo…

Anyway, tonight was the night.  We had picked up a beautiful fillet of salmon I was going to grill in spicy maple marinade.  And by golly, I was going to conquer potatoes au gratin.  Time to utilize one of my favorite food blogs, SmittenKitchen.  Deb has the refreshing love of food (and her recipes have step by step photos).  I found this, which seemed easy enough and  bravely started slicing potatoes.

Ryan always grates cheese for me, and made a lovely pile.  Cheese graters and my fingers do not get along. I gave up after a certain number of bloody cheesy messes hit the trashcan.  Gross, yes.  I have already started praying our future children will have Ryan’s cheese-grating skills.

Menacing, right?

It wasn’t so bad.  Following the directions I layered potatoes with cheese and plenty of salt and pepper, then poured in enough milk to come to the top of the potatoes.  And put it in the oven.  And held my breath for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes…


3 thoughts on “Conquering Potatoes au Gratin – Pt 1

  1. My mom’s scalloped potatoes are the very best ever. Asked her for the recipe, and it sounds the same. But she uses evaporated milk. Makes it thicker and less runny.

  2. Sarah, I tripled this recipe for Easter, and they were a HUGE hit: (except I didn’t bother with the onion). I was amazed how great they turned out. And the best part was, 10 pounds of potatoes were so easy to slice when I dropped through the spinning blade of my food processor. Do you have one? I think the super-thin slices is part of the “secret” of good au gratin potatoes. Happy cooking!

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