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Jan 26, 2013 01:38 AM

Is there hope for my potato gratin?

Groan. I'm having 8 people over tonight, I just peeled a gazillion potatoes, and I overcooked the slices in the milk on the stove before transferring to the baking dish. There were only a small percentage of slices out of the bunch were falling apart, but im worried that even after baking and getting crispy they will still taste way overdone.
Please tell me that I don't need to start all over....

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  1. Honestly have never heard of par-cooking the potatoes. I thought the cream and potatoes all go into the oven at once.

    I think if you bake it with more milk it will get water-logged.

    I would make mashed potatoes. OR you can rinse the milk off, drain, then layer, brushing melted butter between each layer, and bake that.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jaykayen

      I've always cooked the potatoes in the milk first, it's a jacques pepin recipe and it's always worked well before. I just never accidentally over-cooked them in the pot before.

      Making mashed potatoes is a good idea, rather than starting from the beginning. But, there's a chance it could come out ok.... :-/

      thanks for the advice!

      1. re: eviemichael

        JP also does a mashed potato gratin. Mash up what you have, mix with cheese, drizzle with melted butter, and bake.
        He also has one where he mixes in some beaten egg before baking, so it puffs up and browns even better. Not a true souffle, but along those lines. I believe that one was on the Jacques and Julia show, in the potato episode.

      2. re: jaykayen

        Having everything hot before going into the oven make the whole Gratin cook more evenly and quickly. It also starts the gelatinization of the starch which helps to keep the dairy from separating.

        1. re: chefj

          I tried shortcutting the pre-coooking part out one night when I was in a hurry -- the sauce just wasn't right, even though the potatoes were tender (and the crust a little over-brown...not burnt, but getting dangerous close)

      3. As long as you did not scorch the milk, you're fine.

        1. Maybe mash the overcooked spuds - mix with cheese, (a good swiss?) roasted garlic and anchovies, (anchovies really make scalllopped potatos - don't tell your guests tho;) and make your gratin kinda of lasagne style?

          I use potato puree to thicken cream based soups works like a charm.

          Or if you decide to start over perhaps you could use the mashers for potato pancakes or Gnochi? I would love to hear how you work this out... Me thinks it can be done.

          1. It will be a little softer than you'd liked, but you should be just fine. It will still taste awesome.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sunshine842

              Thats exactly what happened sunshine842, it tasted fine, but the texture was softer than I like.

              However, I made a huge portion for the amount of people I had and it all got eaten up! So they enjoyed it which was my main concern!

            2. You don't need to start over. Just proceed as you had planned. I always top my potato gratin with a nice layer of cheese--Parmigiano or Gruyere are my favorites--and then pour heavy cream over the cheese. Guarantees a well browned and flavorful top.