Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Parmesan and Creme Fraiche Potato Gratin

A few weeks ago I saw some Bellwether Farms Creme Fraiche (krehm-fresh) on clearance at the grocery store so I had to buy it for two basic reasons. First: it was really cheap. Second: I've spoken French and taught French for how long and I've never even tried the stuff? How is that right? I felt like a big French fraud, or even more so than usual.

Can I just clear something up too? I can't figure out how to put the accents on creme and fraiche, so please stop cringing and forgive me now. Thanks! Moving on...

I loved cooking with creme fraiche. Tangy, but more subtle than sour cream, it is actually much more accessible than I thought it would be. I mean, it sounds so superior and sophisticated. It was kind of like meeting somebody famous and discovering you use the same laundry detergent. You know what I mean?

After debating and searching, I decided on a potato gratin recipe that I found on the container. Initially I was concerned that this wouldn't be fancy enough. I had BIG plans for that creme friache! But these potatoes were so good! Of course, I changed them up a bit because I am the Little Red Hen and I couldn't afford the Gruyere cheese the original recipe suggested. I'm glad I did!

Thinly sliced red potatoes, layered with garlic, creme fraiche and parmesan, this Potato Parmesan Gratin would pair perfectly with a savory salad for a delicious lunch. Or, it would make an elegant, everyday side dish that you could easily eat...all by yourself. I think red potatoes are an unstoppable tasty force for eating pleasure, and turning them into delicate, garlicky, parmesan crusted wonders was brilliant and deadly. 

Don't make these Parmesan and Creme Fraiche Potato Gratin thinking it is going to be gooey and cheesy. If you are looking for that try my Cheesy Potato Casserole. This is a light dish and the creme fraiche really brings out the buttery goodness of the red potatoes. The parmesan gives them a slightly nutty flavor, and the garlic- well, it does what garlic does and makes everything even better. Really, the best word to describe these potatoes is delicate, which is a bizzare adjective for potatoes, but it is true.

I love that you don't have to make a sauce or dirty multiple pans. This is a hands-down winner in my book. I think it would be the perfect way to say "je t'aime" this Valentine's Day.

Parmesan and Creme Fraiche Potato Gratin

  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 large slice of onion
  • 2 1/2 lbs thinly sliced red potatoes
  • 7 oz creme fraiche
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a 9x9 baking dish, or gratin dish, with non-stick spray or parchment paper.
  2. Blanch (put in a pot of boiling water) the potatoes with the onion for about 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain and discard onion.
  3. Layer half of the potatoes in baking dish. Place garlic in a small bowl with butter and microwave until butter is melted. Using a pastry brush or spoon, spread half of garlic butter mixture onto potatoes. Top with half of the creme fraiche and 3/4 cup parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Layer remaining potatoes in dish. Spread remaining butter, creme fraiche, and cheese on top. Salt and pepper again, to taste.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is browned.

Bake the bread. Share the slices. 

No comments:

Post a Comment