Au gratin potatoes make a special side dish to a weekend dinner or holiday meal. Use red potatoes or Yukon gold in this dish.
The potatoes are briefly cooked before they are combined with the sauce ingredients and cheese. A dash of nutmeg gives the potatoes extra flavor, but it may be omitted.
- 4 cups diced potatoes (about 1/2-inch dice)
- 7 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cup milk, whole or low-fat
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- dash nutmeg, optional
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Peccorino Romano cheese, divided
- 1 cup soft bread crumbs
Heat oven to 400 F.
Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat to medium, cover, and continue boiling for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the diced potatoes are fork-tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir until blended and bubbly. Add the milk and continue cooking, stirring, until thickened. Stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg, if using.
Reserve about 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan or Romano cheese; set aside.
Add the remaining Cheddar and Romano or Parmesan cheese to the sauce and continue cooking, stirring, just until cheese is melted. Add the drained potatoes and stir gently to coat thoroughly.
Transfer the potato mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved Cheddar and Parmesan or Romano cheeses over the potato mixture.
Melt the remaining butter and toss with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the cheese layer.
Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven on broil and broil for a minute or so, just until nicely browned.
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