It’s hard to believe that this year is almost over. Part of me is relieved to see it end, but another part of me is overwhelmed with the reality of facing another year of “firsts.” My first Thanksgiving and Christmas without my brother were hard. On the surface I may have looked like I was keeping it together, but those rare few people who can truly read me, realize that underneath the smiles and fun, there have been moments of crushing sadness, and a strong sense of something important missing throughout the holidays. So I just want to say thank you to all of those people who helped make things just a little bit better this holiday season.
With that being said, something else that has been missing from my life has been time in the kitchen. Even when I’ve had a desire to make something, we’ve had plans scheduled that did not allow for leftovers, which means we’ve been eating a lot of quick and random meals on the nights we haven’t eaten out or snacked off of a party buffet. I think that I have finally had my fill of cheese and crackers. I want to eat some vegetables, I crave protein, and I really need to back away from the damn cookies. I wake up every morning feeling like a balloon with too much helium, but instead of floating higher in the air, that fullness is making it difficult for me to get motivated to move at all.
So you may not consider au gratin potatoes to be healthy, but clearly you haven’t seen the other food I’ve been stuffing my face with lately. There are potatoes involved in this recipe, which are vegetables, and in my book that equals health food. Oh yes, there’s cheese too, but as long as it’s not on a cracker I can handle that. These potatoes are glorious, and so darn quick to make it’s almost a sin. And if you feel that perhaps they have a bit too much heavy cream, butter, and cheese, you can always serve them alongside a big healthy salad. But of course, for me that didn’t happen. I ate these scrumptious potatoes with ham, deviled eggs, and oh yes, I finished them off with cookies. I really need to avoid the evil cookies; they are not helping the belly fluff situation.
- 6 Medium Red Skin Potatoes (Approximately 2 to 2.5 Pounds)
- 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Chives
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- Pinch of Freshly Ground Nutmeg
- 1 (6-oz.) Block of Cabot White Oak Cheddar or Any Other Mild White Cheddar, Freshly Grated
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Butter a glass baking dish; set aside.
- Peel the potatoes and slice them evenly with a mandoline or by hand.
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with everything except for the cheese, over medium-high heat.
- Cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the grated cheese and stir until melted.
- Pour the potatoes into the buttered baking dish, and dot with a few slivers of additional butter.
- Bake for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the top of the potatoes are golden brown and bubbling.
- I cannot say enough good things about Cabot White Oak Cheddar; it’s like someone slammed a stick of butter and a block of cheese together. Yum.
- Throw in some fresh chives if you happen to have some growing in your herb garden.
- Use a non-stick saucepan for this, or you will end up hating yourself. Also, make sure that the pan is large, to prevent the mixture from bubbling over and creating a gigantic mess that will take hours to clean.
- This dish can easily be made a day or two ahead of time. Make the potatoes and pour them into the buttered dish, allow to cool, and then refrigerate tightly covered with plastic wrap. You will want to allow your casserole to sit on the counter for an hour before putting it in the oven, so that the heat of the oven doesn’t crack the dish. Dot the potatoes with butter before baking. You also will want to lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees, and increase the baking time by 10 to 15 minutes.
- Do I need to say it? Bacon.
- Add a tablespoon of any type of Dijon or stone ground mustard to the potato mixture while cooking.
Come Join Us in the Kitchen!
Subscribe to Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice to receive exclusive recipes, newsletters, and special updates.