David and I each have our own way of approaching a fully loaded dinner plate. I immediately try each of the vegetables and side items before moving on to the main portion, and I rotate eating all of the elements. David, on the other hand, heads straight for the meat. He might give the vegetables and sides a little taste, but they’re usually left on his plate and eaten last. But not with these potatoes. Just from watching him devour the first and start on the second before even tasting his BBQ chicken legs, I knew these potatoes would be amazing. Oh, was I ever right. We finished them off, but still wanted more. I went to make a second batch, but my cheese grater was being cleaned in the dish washer. We will have to wait until tomorrow…but you don’t have to!
To make these potato gratins, preheat your oven to 400ºF. Use a mandoline to slice a baking potato into 1/8th of an inch slices. Make sure the slices are all the same size so that the potatoes cook evenly. One potato makes about 6 gratin stacks. Two stacks per person is probably sufficient for most people, but we each ate 3 and wanted more!
Coat a muffin tin with non-stick spray. Put 2 potato slices into each of the cups, and season them with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on some shredded gruyère cheese. Repeat this process until your muffin tins are full, about 2 more times/4 more slices.
After you’ve salted and peppered the top potatoes, pour 1 tablespoon of cream into each cup. Sprinkle more shredded cheese over the tops.
Bake the potato gratins for 30 minutes or until the cheese is brown and the potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork. Run a small knife around the edges of the stacks to break them free from the muffin tin, and pop them out. I don’t know what happens to the cream, but these potato stacks aren’t liquidy at all.
The top layer is crisp from the cheese and the heat, and the bottom layer is crisp from touching the hot metal muffin tin. And the in-between layers are perfectly soft and cheesy. You can pick these stacks up with your fingers and take bites out of them (me), cut them with a fork and knife like a civilized person (David), or peel each layer apart for more individualized attention (also me). I want another one right now. I think I just heard the dishwasher signal the end of its cycle with a beep! But it sounds more like a dinner bell to me.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food.
- Baking potato- 1 for 2 servings
- Gruyère cheese
- Salt and pepper