Ah. We have now come to the part of Christmas dinner that people could really care less about: the side dish. For some reason, food that accompanies the main protein at Christmas, usually beef or ham and sometimes another turkey, gets forgotten. At Thanksgiving, people go on and on about the potatoes and the cranberries and the *gulp* green bean casserole. But because Christmas dinner varies so much from family to family, plates of cookies and fudge get all the attention. Well, this potato dish will definitely be what you and your guests end up talking about long after all the presents are unwrapped and you are standing in line trying to return the stirrup pants you got from cousin Ned. A few simple ingredients and you have a dish that could be really boring-they are just potatoes after all-but instead is swoon worthy. Don’t be surprised if you end up rolling your eyes to the heavens in food euphoria. I warned you.
Please note that this dish is extremely indulgent. This is not something you should make on a regular basis or shrug and have four helpings of. Well…I mean, you could, but I don’t want to be blamed for your cholesterol levels at your next check up. The great thing about this though is that it goes great with any kind of roasted meat so it does not matter one iota what you are making. I really love it with beef but it tastes great with ham, turkey, chicken, duck, venison-even just a big green salad! So enjoy, indulge, and then get on the treadmill.
One Year Ago: Indian Summer Chili
Adapted from Tyler Florence
2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and sliced as thin as you can get them
2 c heavy cream
2 garlic coves, minced
1 heaping tsp fresh thyme
1/4 c chopped chives
1 c grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a buttered casserole dish. Using the back of a spoon or spatula, gently flatten the potatoes so that everything is settled down into the cream and it is fairly smooth and even on top. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. The gratin will be bubbly and brown on top and a knife inserted in the potatoes in the center will slide in easily. Cool 10 minutes before serving.