Whether you choose turkey, lamb or ham, beef or even fish for your next festive dinner, potato gratin — or scalloped potatoes — is a popular, tasty side dish that works with practically any menu plan. Potato Gouda Gratin has a luscious, sweet-savory flavor that perfectly suits baked ham. Add a sprinkling of fresh diced chives on top before serving. Morten Sohlberg, chef-owner of New York City’s Scandinavian restaurant Smorgas Chef, serves this exceptionally creamy and flavorful Smorgas Jarlsberg Gratin with lamb, but it certainly can be the star accompaniment to a variety of roasted meats or baked fish entrees.
Potato Gouda Gratin
6 strips bacon, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced, white and green parts only
2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 ounces crème fraiche (or sour cream)
1 cup grated Old Amsterdam (a premium aged Gouda)
2 pounds potatoes (Yukon Gold or Red Bliss), peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly butter 8 by 8-inch shallow baking dish. In large skillet, over mediumhigh heat, cook bacon until crisp, set aside; drain bacon fat, reserving brown bits. Reduce heat to medium and melt butter. Add leeks and garlic and continue to cook, stirring often, for about 3 to 5 minutes, until leeks are softened. Remove from heat, season with thyme, stir in mustard and crème fraiche. Set aside.
2. Place one third of potato slices into baking dish; sprinkle with half the bacon. Spoon one half leek mixture over top. Repeat layer of potatoes, bacon and leek mixture. Top with remaining potatoes. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove foil, sprinkle with grated Old Amsterdam and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes.
Smorgas Jarlsberg Gratin
6 large peeled potatoes, julienned and soaked in cold water
2 large yellow onions, sliced into thin rings
2 tablespoons of butter
1-1/2 cups half-and-half, divided
2 ounces anchovy fillets packed in brine, finely chopped, liquid reserved (anchovies packed in oil may be substitute)
1 cup grated Jarlsberg cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Drain and dry potatoes on a towel. Sauté onion in butter over medium heat until golden brown. Mix together potatoes, onions and chopped anchovies with brine. Add mixture to a buttered 9 by 13-inch casserole dish, with 3/4 cup of the half-andhalf. Bake for 30 minutes.
2. Add remaining 3/4 cup of half-and-half, and sprinkle top with shredded Jarlsberg. Reduce heat to 300 F and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender and cheese is browned.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Morten
©2010 King Features Synd.