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Nov 15, 2009 05:36 PM

Best Gratin or Scalloped Potato Dish For Thanksgiving?

Everything I've found on Epicurious seems....blah. I always do an alternative to mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, usually opting for roasted potatoes, but a gratin has been requested for this year.

What I am after....

- It can incorporate something other than potatoes (certainly sweeter potato types) with the exception of fennel (the BF hates it).
- I know it's generally a rich dish but I don't want it to be incredibly greasy or overly-heavy.
- I'd love it to have some kind of kick, either using herbs or some kind of heat. Nothing overpowering, just enough to cut the blandness.

Any favorite recipes?

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  1. @kari: Try Martha Stew's scalloped spuds!! Do you have a mandoline/benriner/feemster? The spuds are stewed in milk and then baked with heavy cream and gruyere cheese. Indescribably good!! adam

    1. my go-to potato gratin recipe isn't spicy, but you could always add some heat to it:

      i also love parsnips and turnips as alternatives (or in addition) to potatoes.

      if you want to go the sweet potato route, use chipotles in adobo for smoky heat. Bobby Flay actually has a super-simple crowd-pleasing recipe:

      you could also skip the gratin/scalloped idea altogether and just do roasted root vegetables. there are a zillion ways to spice or glaze them to suit your preferences, and it won't be such a heavy dish.

      or maple-roasted winter squash with cayenne. *love* that!

      4 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet


        jfood has been looking for a gratin with low fat and the jfoods love leeks. This looks like a great recipe.

        Thanks for posting

        1. re: jfood

          any time. hope the jfoods enjoy it!

          BTW, you can also sub some minced fresh thyme and freshly grated nutmeg for the cumin if you'd prefer...and a combination of Fontina & Parm works well as an alternative to the Gruyere.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            The thyme will go over better at casa jfood. And good gruyere at $30/lb is a bit much so the fontina keeps the cost down.

            Thanks GHG

        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

          The potato gratin sounds wonderful. Plus I'm trying to share things with my MIL who's just not cooking these days. This would reheat easily. Thanks as usual, ghg.

        3. My favorite gratin recipe is Cooks' Ilustrated Holiday Potato Casserole with Gouda, Garlic, and Thyme, not too rich but still "rich and elegant enough for a holiday side dish." In typical test kitchen fashion they started out with recipes for Potatoes Boulangere and Potatoes Savoyarde, and after numerous tests and experiements ended up with this delicious recipe. I've made it many times, always get requests for the recipe.

          The casserole is made with gouda cheese, about 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, about 4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, chicken stock, yukon gold and russet potoatoes and S&P.

          The recipe is from their November & December 1999 issue. Here's a link to the recipe on another webiste:

          1. Not sure what you mean by "...incorporate something other than potatoes..." when the title says "Best Gratin or Scalloped Potato Dish"...

            Anyway, these recipes are with potatoes. The gratin is from cooking light so it is , well, lighter than your average gratin, The Scalloped is the French way from CI and I've used it for years, since I don't do cream or only lactose free milk and this is a nice change:

            Fontina or Monterey Jack can be substituted for the blue cheese, if desired

            2 tablespoons butter
            3-1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
            1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
            2-1/2 cups fat free milk
            ¾ cup (3 oz) Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
            1-1/2 teaspoon salt
            ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
            3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/8 in-thick slices
            Cooking spray
            1/3 cup (1-1/2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

            Preheat over to 375 degrees
            Melt butter in a small saucepan over med-hi heat. Add flour, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in the thyme. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk, cook over med heat until slightly thick (about 3 minutes), stirring constantly. Stir in the Gorgonzola; cook 3 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Stir in salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
            Arrange one-fourth of potatoes in bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; spoon about ¾ cup sauce over potatoes. Repeat layers twice, arrange remaining potatoes over sauce. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from oven, let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yield 8 servings (serving size 1 cup)

            3 pounds all-purpose potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick
            1-1/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese (4 ozs)
            3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
            Salt and freshly ground pepper
            2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces.
            4 cups light chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth.
            1. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish (3 quart) In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with ½ cup Gruyere cheese and the flour.
            2. Arrange the potatoes in three layers, seasoning generously with salt and pepper and sprinkling the remaining ¾ cup Gruyere and the bits of butter between each layer and on top. Pour the chicken stock over the top and bake for about 1-1/2 hours, until the potatoes are tender and golden brown on top.

            It's one of my favorite foods, and I've used both recipes MANY times, and they are foolproof. Good luck!

            1. I just saw this post from smitten Kitchen: Calls for rather a lot of Gruyere, which jfood noted is expensive but fontina can stand in. Canadian Thanksgiving was over a month ago but this is definitely on my must-try list :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: maplesugar

                Note tho, that Fontina is a soft cheese, and gruyere is hard. So there's less moisture to the gruyere, therefore, more flavor, and you can get away with less.

                Fontina is better suited to melting and creamy applications, but it will stand in fine.