The first Monday of the month holds a special place in my heart. It is an evening filled with laughter, friends, good times, and most importantly - amazing food. It's book club night. Now, for most people, book clubs include thought provoking questions and literary classics. Not mine! While my girlfriends and I really enjoy reading good books, we more enjoy being in each other's company, laughing until we cry, and of course, gorging ourselves on food. And this is where we excel, for every single gal in my book club is awesome in the kitchen.
This month I decided to bring Au Gratin Potatoes to the table. Having never actually made Au Gratin Potatoes before, I turned to the one true Southern-Gal-Who-Knows-Her-Cooking - Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman Herself!
At first I was slightly...questionable about this recipe. There is only one cup of cheese! Isn't Au Gratin Potatoes supposed to thin slices of potatoes swimming in gooey cheese sauce? But, I'm a trusting sort of person, and so I kept the recipe as is. The only change I made was slicing the potatoes instead of cubing them. I got a mandolin for my birthday (Thanks Mom and Dad!) and hadn't had the opportunity to use it yet, and, well, it needed to be done.
These, um, were amazing! They were unlike any potatoes au gratin I have ever had before. They were creamy, the perfect amount of cheese (I didn't even miss the cheese sauce!), and had fantastic flavor and texture. Make these! Now! :)
Au Gratin Potatoes (The Pioneer Woman)
4 whole Russet Potatoes
2 tbsp Butter, softened
1.5 cups Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Whole Milk
2 tbsp Flour
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Salt
freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Smear softened butter over all the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish.
Slice potatoes, then cut into fourths.
In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.
Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.
Repeat this two more times, ending in the cream mixture.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for 20 more minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbly.
Add the grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3-5 minute more, until cheese is melty and bubbly.
Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving.