Tuesday, March 6, 2012


caramelized onion potato gratin
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

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.
caramelized onion potato gratin (2)


Barbara Bakes said...

I love a crisp topping, so I'm sure I'd vote with you. They sound great.

Rita said...

I have a feeling my husband and I would love these;true comfort food.

Casey said...

A fabulous combination.