Thanksgiving week is upon us! I can’t contain my excitement!! My husband, Joshua, just returned home after almost 5 months of traveling to potential residency programs. Finally having him back means I have to start cooking for him again… but I could not be happier about it!!! Life is moving, fast. The older I get, the more real that becomes. Am I right? One day at a time, always. I am doing my best to slow down and enjoy each thing life throws at me. Big and small. Good and bad. All things work together for our good.
My wonderful friends at Sur la Table asked me to shoot a gratin recipe this month. I’ve always wanted to make one of these. All those crispy, cheesy layers. I’ve been itching to use my mandolin and this beautiful Staub pan. We made it happen! This gratin has everything going for it: three root veggies, three cheeses, all together perfect. Boring mashed potatoes, step aside.
- 2½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
- 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 pound large parsnips, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
- ½ teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- ½ cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rub the butter over the bottom and sides of a 2-quart gratin dish.
- In a large heavy pan, combine the milk, cream, salt, thyme, garlic and pepper. Place over medium heat and stir for 3 minutes, or until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Add the Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet potatoes and parsnips. Stir to coat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes are partially cooked. Remove from the heat.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer half the vegetables to the gratin dish. Sprinkle with half each of the Gruyère, cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses. Add the remaining vegetables. Use two forks to arrange the top layer of potatoes in a slightly overlapping design, evenly distributing the different-colored potatoes. Ladle the hot cream mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle with all of the remaining cheeses.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer or the tip of a knife and the gratin is bubbling and golden. Let the gratin rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco
Potato soup: humble, comforting and satisfying. For the many reasons you love the soft interior of a good French fry, so you love potato soup. Savory is my kind of soup. The leek and potato combination is a wonderful flavor– full and complete. This was my first time cooking with leek and my impression is that it is really not far from the onion and garlic. Similar flavor and I have seen it described as a more mild version of an onion. Now, take a lovely potato soup and add pierogi, bacon and chives. Woah! First, render the bacon until nice and crunchy. Then take that delicious pan, filled bacon fat goodness and sear the pierogi until golden on both sides. Top at the soup’s center, sprinkle on some chives and there you have it. Beautiful presentation and great flavors. My personal opinion is that this is more of a starter dish than a main course. Or a great lunch item, as I enjoyed earlier today. When the temperature in New York drops to 59 degrees (welcome October!) warm up and try this dish!
Yield: 4 servings — Active time: 35 min — Total time: 40 min
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 bunch leeks (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced and rinsed well
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 12 frozen or fresh mini pierogi (or 6 regular size)
- Chopped fresh chives, for topping
- Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well coated, about 2 minutes.
- Add 3 cups water, the chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are very tender, 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Working in 2 or 3 batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a clean pot and stir in the cream; season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring, until crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Add the pierogi to the skillet and cook, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and warmed through, about 5 minutes. Top each serving of soup with pierogi bacon and chives. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine, 2015.