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Need help with AuGratin potatoes

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I've always attempted these spuds for the holiday buffet table. They NEVER work out. I've tried several methods, bechamel cheese sauce then baked, I've cooked the thin sliced potatoes in milk/cream the way a friend does it, the natural starch thickens the milk, then add cheese and bake. Enough of my trials, anyone have any sure fire suggestions for rich, creamy, cheesey AuGratin potatoes?

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  1. Hmm. It's unclear with a bechamel sauce why yours would not come out rich, creamy and cheesy. I usually do them with Gruyere.

    - Peel then slice Russet potatoes with mandolin for perfectly equal slices.
    - Butter the casserole, then start to layer the potatoes in.
    - Every second layer add sliced Gruyere and a bit of salt and pepper.
    - Once the potatoes/cheese are layered in the casserole, pour over/top off with bechamel made of 1/2 and 1/2, Gruyere, thyme, salt and pepper and tiny bit of grated nutmeg.
    - Cover tightly with foil and put in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes.
    - Once tender (about 45 minutes) remove foil, crank the heat up to about 450 and brown the top very well.

    Yes, this is a lot of cheese, and I find Russets are the perfect potato for this dish. Good luck.

    2 Replies
    1. re: EarlyBird

      Scalloped potatoes, not au gratin, but basically the same thing. And a no brainer.

      Mandoline Idaho spuds at 1/16th in, Sauté shallot and a clove of garlic crushed in a press in butter. Add the potatoes & equal parts chicken stock and cream to not quite cover. Season with salt & pepper, being to a boil & cook a few minutes until half done. Remove the potatoes with a skimmer & place Ina baking dish. Don't bother arranging them, just make it reasonably even. pour on the cream/stock mixture to not quite cover. Cover with grated gruyere & Parmigiano & bake at 375 until done ( test with a toothpick). Let rest 10 min & dish up. Works every time

      1. re: rjbh20

        I'm witness. This is fabulous and a feature of many a Christmas dinner table.

    2. I thin slice the potatoes on the Mandoline and then layer in a fairly shallow pan, seasoning with s & p as I go. Once the dish is full, I top with grated cheese then pour on heavy cream (light, fat free etc will not work) until it is about half way up the side. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for about half an hour. Take off foil and bake until tender, well browned and bubbly. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving. (If you like garlic you can steep some crushed cloves in hot cream and then strain before pouring on potatoes.) Never had the recipe fail as long as I cut potatoes into think slices and used heavy cream -- use Yukon gold or russet.)

      1. Theses have been named "Satan's Potatoes" by my aunt she works hard to keep her size zero figure and when I make these she simply can not will not does not pass them up.
        1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
        1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatos, peeled and cubed(easier to eat)
        1/2 cup grated Gruyere
        1/2 cup grated aged cheddar such as beemster
        ¼ cup finally chopped onion
        1 cup heavy cream
        1 teaspoon salt
        1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
        1/8 teaspoon paprika
        ½ teaspoon garlic powder
        ½ cup bread crumbs
        Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
        Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish with about 1 tablespoon of the softened butter. Or small ramekins
        Arrange a layer of potatoes in the baking dish, and sprinkle some of the cheeses and onion over them. Continue layering potatoes and cheeses until you've used them all, ending with a layer of cheese.
        In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the salt and pepper garlic salt; pour this over the potatoes. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs Dot the remaining butter over the top and sprinkle with the paprika. Cover with foil. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the potatoes are tender and golden brown on top. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

        1. I cannot imagine that you will find any more info than that in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/602424, which was posted to just yesterday.

          1 Reply
          1. re: greygarious

            Exactly, also lots of helpful tips re: kind of potato to use

          2. Simple, really good, rich,foolproof recipe. No cheese needed for refined palates.

            Thin sliced yukon gold.
            Fine diced garlic 1/2 tsp
            salt
            cream

            Boil potato slices in enough cream to almost cover them when pushed firmly in the pot for 5 minutes

            scatter diced garlic on the base of the baking dish

            salt the dish ...1/2 tsp

            pour the cream and potatoes into the dish lightly salt the top. press on the potatoes to pack firmly.

            bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until lightly browned in spots

            let rest at room temp for at least 15 minutes to set and absorb liquid.