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Friday, December 31, 2010

Karin's Week Fifty-Two Recipe: Gratin de Pommes de Terre Crecy

Wow, I can't believe that I made it through the entire year with a new recipe a week! I've definitely broadened my cooking abilities and use more of my cookbooks more often. I've found that I am actually making more than one new recipe a week in some weeks, and even those weeks I only got in my required one, I was still looking for others to try. Thanks to Tricia, Chris and Jenni for letting me be the "foreign" correspondent - it was alot of fun to see what everyone else was cooking up, and how it turned out.

For my last weekly recipe for 2010, I ended up making a recipe out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I was asked to bring a potato/starch dish to a holiday dinner at the in-laws house. In looking at what I had on hand, I knew I could definitely do potatoes (we have a 10 lb bag as a result of lefse baking), and thought it would be nice to also put a veg in. As always, Julia to the rescue with Gratin de Pommes de Terre Crecy, or Scalloped Potatoes and Carrots with Cream.

Gratin de Pommes de Terre Crecy

2 c carrots, sliced 1/8" thick
1/2 T butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 T finely minced shallots or green onions (I used Penzey's Freeze-Dried Shallots, and put them straight into the pot)
3/4 C water

Boil the carrots slowly with the butter, salt, shallots or onions, and water in the covered saucepan for 20-30 min or until liquid has evaporated and the carrots are tender.

4 T butter
2 lb potatoes, sliced 1/8" thick (6-7 cups)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 c grated Swiss cheese
1 1/4c whipping cream.

Preheat oven to 300deg. Smear 1T of the butter in a 10" fireproof baking dish, 2" deep. Arrange layers of potatoes in it, seasoning each layer with salt, pepper, cheese, and dots of butter. Alternate potato layer with a layer of carrots. End with a sprinkling of cheese and butter dots. Pour on the cream and bring slowly almost to the simmer on top of the stove. Then place in middle level of preheated oven and bake for 1-1 1/4 hours, regulating oven heat throughout baking so that cream never quite bubbles. The gratin is done when the potatoes are tender and have absorbed the cream, and the top is lightly browned.

This was very tasty, and an easy dish to make ahead. I was a bit worried that the carrots would be overdone, but they were still slightly crunchy even at the end of the entire cooking time. It also reheated well for leftovers. Having the carrots in made me feel a bit better about all of the butter and cream in the recipe. It was a big hit at the family dinner, and I think I would make it again.

Happy New Year, and I'm looking forward to seeing what we cook up in 2011!!

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