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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Individual Potato Gratins




Have you ever made a recipe that is so wonderful you've turned around and made it again the next day?  I always feel so totally decadent when I do that!  While Connie and I were on the bus on the way to the grand tour of the reindeer farm, I managed to go through several cooking magazines.  One of them was the latest Everyday Food.  I must've cut out 20 recipes.  One was for a bok choy that I served with the fabulous stir fried chicken and celery.  On the facing page was a recipe called muffin-pan potato gratins.  Friday evening it turned out that Connie wasn't playing bridge.  So, there I was at 7:00 pm trying to figure out what to make for dinner that'd use up freezer food.  (Remember, I'm trying to clear the freezer for party food room.)  A pork tenderloin looked good.  And, a quick look revealed a couple of steaks I could toss in the fridge to thaw for Saturday evening.  Actually, we typically cook two, split one and have the other leftover in a salad for lunch...  Now, what to make with the pork tenderloin?  Well, the recipe for the bok choy was still on the counter so the potato gratin one was open too.  It looked pretty quick.  And, I had half a bag of red potatoes in the pantry.  Perfect!  I made six thinking we'd have leftovers.  No such luck.  Saturday when time came to figure out what to make to go with the steaks I asked Connie if he'd like to have the potatoes again.  Would he ever.  This time I made twelve and we have plenty of leftovers to toss in the salad with the leftover steak. 

This is a recipe I'll make over and over again.  I did add some garlic and finely shredded romano cheese to the gratins.  The original recipe called for salt, pepper and cream.  I kept remembering Fletcher Boyd's garlic potatoes - which I believe were originally from BonAppetit and were called Pamela Barrett's Garlic Potatoes.  They are just amazing - butter, cream and a LOT of garlic. 

So, you want to hear about the reindeer farm before we get to the recipe?  Joann Carr from Interlude Tours sent an email out about a one day mystery tour.  It was very reasonably priced.  And, as I told Connie, if it's not planned totally, I'll not get out of the office.  So, we signed up.  Our guess was that we were going to a cheese  farm..  Then, we got off the interstate and headed west.  Hmmm, no clue.  Our first stop was Danville, IL to see the work of the Wall Dogs.  They're a group of artists who congregate in a community and paint signs on buildings.  Here's one of the signs:



Once we'd done a walking tour of the signs, we piled back on the bus and headed off to Rantoul, IL where we toured Hardy's Reindeer Farm.  It was the first time I'd seen a reindeer up close and personal.  The Hardy's have a herd of about 15 and have about half of them at the public facility at a time.  These reindeer LOVE graham crackers.  Julie said during one huge snowstorm they walked a drift over the fence and she was able to entice them all back into the pasture with - yup - graham crackers.





 


Ok, back to recipes here.  I can't think of a thing that I'd like to change about these potatoes.  But, there's an awful lot that you could do.  You could use beef broth instead of cream to dramatically lower the calories.  You could add almost any herb.  Maybe use some alouette in between the layers.  White wine might work.  However you make them, they make a beautiful presentation. 

Individual Potato Gratins

Ingredients:


"B" sized red potatoes
salt
freshly ground pepper
garlic powder
finely shredded romano or parmesan cheese
cream

Directions:
Slice the potatoes very thinly.  A mandoline is best.  Be careful to NOT slice your fingers.  You'll still have plenty to fill the muffin cups.

 

Spray muffin tins with cooking spray or brush them with unsalted butter. 

Lay two slices of potato in each muffin cup. 



Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic. 



Add two more slices.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little grated romano (maybe a teaspoon.)  Add two more slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Keep adding slices and varying the seasoning as you wish.  End with just salt and pepper. 



Pour one tablespoon of cream over each individual gratin.



Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes.


adapted from Everyday Food

24 comments:

MyKidsEatSquid said...

You can't go wrong with butter, garlic and potatoes! These look fun to make, I'll have to give it a try.

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said...

That's just the coolest idea! I've never seen them made in a muffin pan like that! I've never actually seen a real reindeer before either, he's so cute! I'll have to save this one! Thanks!

jane deere said...

This looks really good ~ great for the holidays or a special dinner party! This is going on my list of things to make...thanks!

Santosh Bangar said...

what aniceidea making in mffins box really crispy

Cookin' Canuck said...

This is a wonderful idea and I like the versatility of the recipe. I'd imagine that allmost any kind of cheese or seasonings would work.

Lizzy said...

I LOVE this idea...we eat lots of potatoes and will add this to our repertoire! Thanks, Kate~

Evan Thomas said...

These are a great idea! These look lovely.

Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

that looks both cool and delicious. great idea!

eatgreek.net said...

I love the idea of using muffin cups!
excellent! (^_^)

Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said...

Love the idea of making in a muffin tin - brilliant! I bet they were just divine. Keeping this recipe. Enjoy your Sunday!

Spicie Foodie said...

What a great recipe and I can see why you make this often. Looks delicious!

Annie said...

This is such a neat and unique recipe! I love anything that can be "individual." I will be making these soon and let you know how it goes!

Stephanie said...

What a clever idea - these will look wonderful sitting on a dinner plate!

Liz Marr, MS, RD said...

Great twist on a traditional recipe - love the muffin-tin concept.

sara @ CaffeIna said...

I bet this is a recipe I will make over and over again too :) I lvoe the individual portion twist! Great job!

Lizzy said...

Kate, I made these for dinner tonight topped with some Gruyere. Fabulous!!!

Kate said...

Hi Liz - a good friend/client who loves to cook was just in and we brainstormed some alternates with this idea. I think we're going to do sweet potatoes and blue cheese with chicken broth over the top tonight for dinner. I'd also like to try different veggies - beets will probably be first. And, I might try the potatoes with french onion soup over the top... I'm so glad you enjoyed these!! Kate

The Mom Chef said...

Ok, first thing.

"Be careful to NOT slice your fingers."

Was that directed at anyone????

This is an AMAZING idea. I love it. I'm so glad you discovered it, tried it and passed it along. I can not WAIT to try these! Thanks Kate.

Kate said...

Hmmm, that might have been directed to a particular friend down south who has a tendency to include fingertips in her meals :-) Then again, had you seen what Connie did to his finger with a mandoline, maybe you'd think otherwise. Those things are dangerous! But, they make the most wonderful slices...

Marisa said...

I love potato gratin-classic! I love the idea of having one all to myself, too! This recipe sounds fantastic and those reindeer are so cute!

Lisa said...

Hmmm...something I might be able to pull off. Love all the alternates.

Lizzy said...

Kate, I featured your blog (and this recipe) on the Weekend Blog Showcase. So good!!!

http://thatskinnychickcanbake.blogspot.com/2010/11/individual-potato-gratins.html

Kate said...

Thank you so much, Liz :-) That's a great idea to showcase another blog on the weekend. I've done it on a hit or miss basis but I like your way better. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! We're working and cleaning house in preparation for Connie's brother's visit over T'day weekend. Kate

Kitchen Benchtops said...

I haven't had a gratin in ages and yours looks fantastic. Looks delicious and definitely worth splurging on!