3-Cheese Potato Gratin, Issue 37, p19
  Re: (...)
Regarding the recipe for 3-Cheese Potato Gratin in issue 37, page 19, could you advise me how to prepare this recipe as a make-ahead or as a partial preparation for finishing later at another location? We will be visiting friends for Christmas dinner (about 30 miles away) and would like to bring this as a side dish. Or would you advise making it at home completely and reheating at our friends home? This is the best potato gratin recipe we have ever made. Sometimes we add sauteed mushrooms, or diced ham, or diced prosciutto or even diced parboiled asparagus.
  Re: 3-Cheese Potato Gratin, Issue 37, p19 by rrky (Regarding the recipe...)
Not being a caterer or chef, I probably should leave this alone, but...until one of them shows up I will throw in my 2 cents. Since the potatoes will darken, I would be hesitant to prep ahead unless submerged in liquid. I don't have the recipe in front of me. Could you parbake it? I'm not sure. I have sliced my potatoes and submerged them in water under refrigeration to keep them form darkening before. Then you could measure and store ingredients as they are added and cook the dish at your friends house. The problem with this is if she is going to be using the oven and at what temp. There's just a lot of "Ifs" in there. If it was me, I'd probably parbake or bake completely and reheat.

I guess we'll see what the pros have to say.
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: 3-Cheese Potato Gratin, Issue 37, p19 by Gourmet_Mom (Not being a caterer ...)
I'm in the same boat as Daph, so I shouldn't even talk. But, whenever i do something like that, I prepare ahead and be just a bit generous with the liquids. Bake about 10min short of time and finish at location. Not sure if it will work with this one, but Denise or Jean will know and I'm sure they will school you on this
Empress for Life
  Re: Re: 3-Cheese Potato Gratin, Issue 37, p19 by farnfam (I'm in the same boat...)
The extra liquid sounds like a great idea, Cis!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: 3-Cheese Potato Gratin, Issue 37, p19 by Gourmet_Mom (The extra liquid sou...)
I haven't tried this CAH recipe. Thought I'd look in my Make Ahead book to see what it said. The discussion about how to make and reheat indicates that par-simmering the potatoes is key to a good outcome. Also that 1/8" slices is also key. Since the potatoes in the CAH version are cooked ahead, it might work to assemble and hold a day or two.

Here's The Best Make Ahead book's version:

Classic Scalloped Potatoes - Serves 8 to 10

4 T unsalted butter
2 medium onions, minced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 T minced fresh thyme or 1 teasp dried
2 1/2 teasp salt
1/2 teasp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 bay leaves
5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8" thick
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the broth, cream and bay leaves. Stir in the potatoes 1 handful at a time and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring often until the potatoes are mostly tender, about 15 minutes.

Discard the bay leaves. Pour the potato mixture into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and press gently into an even layer.

TO STORE: Cover the dish with plastic wrap and poke several vent holes with the tip of a paring knife. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. (If frozen, thaw completely in the refrigerator at least 24 hours before baking.)

TO SERVE: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap, sprinkle the cheddar evenly over the top and cover the dish tightly with the foil. Bake until the mixture is just warm, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook until the cheese is golden brown, and the sauce is bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


With mushrooms and Gruyere

Add 1 pound of shiitake or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin to the butter with the onions. Cook until the moisture released by the mushroom has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Substitute 8 ounces of Gruyere, shredded for the cheddar.
  Re: Re: 3-Cheese Potato Gratin, Issue 37, p19 by HomeCulinarian (I haven't tried this...)
Welcome to the forum, rrky!!

Here's the recipe from the archives and as HomeCulinarian mentioned, rrky, there is a par-cooking step. I'd prepare them to that point, mix with the rest of the ingedients and then chill and take with you to finish.

3-Cheese Potato Gratin
(Cuisine at home, February 2003, Issue 37, p. 19)

Makes: 4 to 6 servings Total Time: 1 Hour Rating: Intermediate

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, peeled, smashed
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. white pepper
1/8 t. cayenne
1/8 t. ground nutmeg

Add; Simmer:
3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced

Toss; Layer with Potatoes:
1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 T. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 450°. Coat a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine milk, cream, garlic, and spices in a large saucepan.

Add potatoes and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 8 minutes. Discard garlic.

Toss grated cheeses with flour; set aside. Layer half the potatoes in the casserole dish. Sprinkle half the cheese mixture over the potatoes. Add remaining potatoes and pour the milk mixture over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese mixture. Coat a piece of foil with nonstick spray and tightly cover baking dish; bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until gratin is browned and bubbly. Let gratin rest 10–15 minutes before serving.


Gosh, I haven't made a potato gratin forever - about time!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: 3-Cheese Potato Gratin, Issue 37, p19 by rrky (Regarding the recipe...)
Thanks, everyone, for your advice. I have a good idea on how to proceed based on your comments.

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