We have a visitor this week, a friend from Florida. The visitor is a boy, Hubby’s best friend. Since I was out numbered I figured I would make some man food and did meat and potatoes. The meat was super easy. We had half of a beef tenderloin that I defrosted and sliced into fillets. I rubbed them down with melted butter, salt, pepper, minced garlic and Hubby tossed them on the grill. Before we tossed those yummy pieces of succulent meat on the grill I decided I was going to make some potatoes au gratin. I had never made them from scratch before, but I have made a cheese sauce before so I figured I could work it out.
The cheese sauce is soooo yummy and delicious and you can have it over veggies, potatoes, macaroni or anything you want to cheese up. First I steeped onion, garlic and a bay leaf in 2 cups and half & half, then I made a roux, and then I stirred in the thing we all love, cheese! This will be a hit in your home.
Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes
6 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 cups half & half
1/4 slice yellow onion
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 Tbs flour
1/8 ground pepper
1/4 garlic powder
2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (your choice)
2 bread slices
1 Tbs butter
In a small saucepan, combine milk, onion slice, garlic gloves and bay leaf. Place over a medium heat, until bubbles appear around the edges, about 5 mins, do not boil. Remove from heat and let it stand covered for 10 minutes. Remove onion, garlic and bay leaf, set garlic aside.
Mince garlic. Combine garlic & 1 Tbs of olive oil in large saute pan, at a medium high heat. Place potatoes in saute pan and fill with water. Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook till tender but still firm, do not over cook you don’t want the potatoes to mush. Drain and set aside.
In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt 3 Tbs of butter over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, add flour and stir. Reduce the heat to low. Let the mixture bubble for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool for 1 minute.
Slowly add the mix to the roux, whisking as you add the milk. Return the pan to medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking often. Make sure you get the bottom and the sides. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, whisking often, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
Test the consistency by dipping a wooden spoon in the sauce. Draw your finger across the back of the spoon, it should leave a clean track.
Whisk in 2 cups of cheese, cook over low heat, whisking constantly until melted and smooth. Add in pepper and garlic powder. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
Spray a 8×12 casserole dish with butter non-stick spray. Arrange 1/2 potatoes in the dish, pour cheese sauce over potatoes, layer the remaining potatoes and top off with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
In a food processor, pulse 2 slices of bread, till you have coarse bread crumbs. Combine crumbs with 1 Tbs of melted butter. Top potatoes with bread crumbs. (I wanted to crush up some potatoes chips and use them as a topping in addition to the bread crumbs, but I didn’t have any, maybe next time.)
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, till top is crispy and bubbly.
Serve with a side of beef….:D