Welcome to our culinary journey where today we will learn how to make the popular French dish, Au Gratin Potatoes. This creamy and cheesy potato dish is perfect as a side dish or even as a main course for vegetarians. With a few simple ingredients and some easy steps, you too can create this delicious and impressive dish in no time. So, let’s get started!
Steps How to Make Au Gratin Potatoes
Step 1: Preheat the Oven
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and position the baking rack in the middle of the oven.
Step 2: Prep the Potatoes
Peel and slice 2-3 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes thinly and evenly. Rinse the sliced potatoes in cold water to remove any excess starch, then pat them dry with a paper towel.
Step 3: Prepare the Creamy Sauce
In a small saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add 4 minced cloves of garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Add 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and whisk continuously for 1 minute. Gradually pour in 2 cups of whole milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes while whisking continuously until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. Stir well.
Step 4: Layer the Potatoes and Sauce
Layer half of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 inch (23×33 cm) baking dish. Pour half of the creamy sauce over the potatoes, spreading it evenly. Top with half of the shredded cheddar cheese. Repeat with another layer of sliced potatoes, sauce and cheddar cheese.
Step 5: Bake
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Uncover the dish and continue baking for another 25-30 minutes until the potatoes turn golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Step 6: Garnish and Serve
Garnish the dish with chopped fresh parsley or chives and serve hot.
Explanation How to Make Au Gratin Potatoes
Au Gratin Potatoes is a classic potato dish that originated in French cuisine. The potatoes are thinly sliced and layered with a creamy sauce and cheese, then baked until golden and bubbling. The sauce is made with a roux of butter and flour, which is then whisked with whole milk to create a smooth and creamy mixture. Some recipes call for heavy cream or a combination of milk and cream for a richer sauce.
The type of potatoes used can vary, but Yukon Gold potatoes are a great choice because they are buttery and have a rich flavor. The potatoes should be peeled and sliced into thin, even slices. To get the perfect slices, it is recommended to use a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer. Rinsing the slices in cold water helps to remove the excess starch, which can make the dish gluey.
Cheese is a crucial ingredient in Au Gratin Potatoes. While cheddar cheese is the most commonly used, you can also use Gruyere or Parmesan cheese for a different flavor. The cheese is sprinkled over the layers of potatoes and sauce before baking. Some recipes call for adding breadcrumbs or crushed crackers for extra crunch on top.
When baking the dish, it is important to cover it with foil for the first half of the baking time to prevent the cheese from burning and to allow the potatoes to cook through. Removing the foil for the second half of the baking time helps to brown the cheese and create a crispy top layer.
Tips and Tricks How to Make Au Gratin Potatoes
1. Choose the right type of potatoes
Choosing the right type of potatoes can make a big difference in the final outcome. Yukon Gold potatoes are highly recommended, but you can also use Russet potatoes or red potatoes. Just ensure that they are fresh and free of blemishes.
2. Use a mandolin slicer
A mandolin slicer can help to ensure that your potato slices are uniformly thin. This can make a huge difference in the texture of your dish.
3. Rinse the sliced potatoes
Rinsing the sliced potatoes in cold water can help to remove excess starch and prevent the dish from becoming too gluey.
4. Use heavy cream for a richer sauce
If you want a richer and creamier sauce, you can use heavy cream or a combination of milk and cream instead of whole milk.
5. Experiment with different cheese and toppings
While cheddar cheese is the most commonly used, you can experiment with different types of cheese for a different flavor. You can also add breadcrumbs or crushed crackers for extra crunch on top.
6. Let the dish cool for a few minutes before serving
Au Gratin Potatoes can be very hot when it comes out of the oven. Letting it cool for a few minutes before serving can help you to avoid any accidental burns.
7. Reheat leftovers in the oven
If you have any leftovers, it is best to reheat them in the oven rather than the microwave. This will help to retain the crispy texture and prevent the dish from becoming too soggy.
8. Serve with a green salad or roasted vegetables
Au Gratin Potatoes are a rich and heavy dish, so it is a great idea to serve them with a light and fresh green salad or some roasted vegetables to balance out the meal.
9. Add bacon or ham for a non-vegetarian version
If you are not a vegetarian, you can add cooked bacon or ham for a meaty and flavorful twist on this classic side dish.
10. Make ahead and freeze for later
You can prepare Au Gratin Potatoes ahead of time and freeze them for later. Simply bake as directed, let them cool completely, then wrap tightly in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, reheat them in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for around 30 minutes from frozen.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Au Gratin Potatoes
1. Delicious – Au gratin potatoes have a rich and creamy flavor that many people find irresistible.
2. Easy to make – Once you have the ingredients, making au gratin potatoes is a simple and straightforward process.
3. Versatile – You can serve au gratin potatoes as a side dish with many different main courses.
4. Comfort food – This dish is often associated with home-cooked meals and can provide a warm, cozy feeling.
5. Can be prepared ahead of time – You can prepare most of the dish ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when it’s time to eat.
6. Budget-friendly – Most of the ingredients for au gratin potatoes are affordable and can be found in most grocery stores.
7. Leftovers are delicious – Au gratin potatoes can be reheated and enjoyed the next day as leftovers.
8. Nutritious – Potatoes are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
9. Can be made in large quantities – This dish is perfect for a crowd and can easily be scaled up to feed many people.
10. Impress your guests – Au gratin potatoes are a classic dish that will impress your guests at dinner parties or holiday gatherings.
1. High in calories – This dish is not the healthiest due to its high calorie and fat content.
2. Time-consuming – Preparing and cooking au gratin potatoes can take up to an hour or more.
3. Requires special equipment – You will need a mandolin or a sharp knife to thinly slice the potatoes.
4. Can be heavy – The creamy texture of the cheese sauce can make this dish feel heavy and filling, which might not be ideal for some people.
5. Not suitable for lactose-intolerant people – The dish contains cheese, cream, and butter and may not be suitable for lactose-intolerant people.
6. May cause heartburn – The rich and creamy nature of the dish can cause heartburn in some people.
7. Can be bland – Au gratin potatoes can be bland if not seasoned properly or if the cheese sauce is not flavorful.
8. Not suitable for vegans – The dish contains cheese and cream, making it unsuitable for vegans.
9. Leftovers require refrigeration – Au gratin potatoes must be refrigerated after cooking and can only be reheated once.
10. Requires monitoring while cooking – The dish requires monitoring while cooking to ensure that the cheese sauce doesn’t burn or become too thick.
1. What are au gratin potatoes?
Au gratin potatoes are a classic French dish made with thinly sliced potatoes that are layered with cream, cheese, and other seasonings, then baked until crispy on top.
2. What kind of potatoes should I use?
For the best results, use a starchy potato such as russet or Yukon gold potatoes.
3. Do I need to peel the potatoes?
That’s up to you! Some people prefer the texture of peeled potatoes, while others like the extra fiber and nutrients in the skin.
4. What kind of cheese is best for au gratin potatoes?
A classic choice is Gruyere cheese, but you can also use cheddar, parmesan, or any other cheese you like.
5. Can I make au gratin potatoes ahead of time?
Yes! You can assemble the dish up to a day ahead of time and keep it covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it.
6. How long does it take to cook au gratin potatoes?
It usually takes about an hour to bake the potatoes until they’re tender and golden brown on top.
7. Can I add other ingredients to my au gratin potatoes?
Of course! Some popular additions include bacon, onions, garlic, and herbs like thyme or rosemary.
8. How many servings does this recipe make?
This recipe makes about 6-8 servings.
9. Can I use non-dairy milk or cheese in this recipe?
Yes, you can use non-dairy milk or cheese if you prefer. Just be aware that the flavor and texture may be slightly different.
10. Can I use a different type of cream?
If you don’t have heavy cream on hand, you can use whole milk or half-and-half instead. The dish may be slightly less creamy, but it will still be delicious.
11. What should I serve with au gratin potatoes?
Au gratin potatoes make a great side dish for roasted meats, grilled chicken, or fish. You can also serve them as a main dish with a side salad or steamed vegetables.
12. Can I freeze leftover au gratin potatoes?
Yes, you can freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 months. To reheat, bake in a preheated oven at 350°F until hot and bubbly.
13. How can I make this recipe healthier?
You can make this recipe a bit healthier by using less cheese or swapping out the heavy cream for a lighter option like almond milk. You can also add more vegetables like spinach or kale to the potato layers for extra nutrients.
Au gratin potatoes is a comforting and satisfying dish perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a side dish or a main course, this creamy and cheesy dish will surely satisfy your cravings. If you’re new to this dish, fret not, as this article will guide you on how to make au gratin potatoes step-by-step.
Conclusion how to make au gratin potatoes
First, you will need to gather all the ingredients. You will need potatoes, butter, flour, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic, cheddar cheese, and breadcrumbs. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re preparing the ingredients.
Next, wash the potatoes thoroughly and slice them into thin slices. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the flour. Stir continuously until it becomes bubbly, then pour in the milk. Whisk the mixture until it becomes thick, then add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic. Mix well and add the cheddar cheese.
Place a layer of sliced potatoes on a greased baking dish, then pour some of the cheese sauce on top. Repeat the process until you use up all the sliced potatoes and cheese sauce. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the final layer of potatoes, then cover the dish with foil.
Bake the dish for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy your homemade au gratin potatoes!
Closing how to make au gratin potatoes
Au gratin potatoes is a delicious and easy dish that you can make for any occasion. You can serve it as a side dish for a holiday dinner or make it as a main course for a cozy night in. With this recipe, you can make your homemade au gratin potatoes that will surely impress your family and friends. It’s creamy, cheesy, and everything you’re looking for in a perfect comfort food. So, go ahead and try making it now, and don’t forget to share it with your loved ones. Thank you for reading, and see you again soon!