Admittedly, escalloped potatoes can be loaded with fat and calories, but for special events or holiday meals, they are a welcome indulgence. This recipe, from Southern Living, September 2008, has it all: cheese, potatoes and a wonderful cheese-herb topping. I couldn’t get enough of them, but the group was mixed in their review. While everyone liked the potatoes, no one loved them. That surprised me, and I had the opposing view. Everyone thought the topping was unnecessary, but I disagree on that, too. I’m reporting – you decide. Make them for yourself and tell me what you think.
|Caramelized Onion-Potato Gratin |
Adapted from Southern Living, September 2008
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
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|Topping: 1-1/4 cups Panko bread crumbs |
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
3 Tbsp. finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Combine ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
Gratin: 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 large sweet onions, halved, thinly sliced (about 4-1/2 to 5 cups)
3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
3 cups milk (I used 3 cups nonfat skim milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream)
1-3/4 tsp. Morton kosher salt
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning*
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (8 oz.) pkg. shredded Italian six-cheese blend
2-1/4 lbs. baking potatoes (Russets, Idahos, etc.), peeled and thinly sliced
Heat oven to 375F. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onion, and cook, stirring often, 15 minutes or till onions are caramel colored. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, cream, salt, Italian seasoning and red pepper. Cook, whisking often, 8-9 minutes or till mixture thickens. Remove from heat; whisk in cheese till melted and smooth. Layer half of potatoes in a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish; pour 2 cups sauce over potatoes in dish. Repeat layers once. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour 10 minutes, or till golden brown and potatoes are fork tender, topping with bread-crumb mixture during last 15 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 10-12 servings
*Make your own fresh Italian seasoning: Combine 1 tsp. each chopped fresh oregano, parsley, basil and thyme and 1/2 tsp. fresh sage. Measure 1 tsp. of this mixture to use in this gratin recipe.