Have you ever had that moment when you realize you’re missing something? That Wow – I coulda had a V-8 moment? I’ve written about main entrees and shared dessert recipes here at Rosemarie’s Kitchen. But what about the much over-looked side dishes I’ve prepared over the years? Aren’t those worthy of a moment in the spot-light? Oh, I know I’ve shared few sides with you, just not as a “feature” but rather as part of a larger menu. Maybe you don’t care much for the main attraction of a particular menu post, yet the sides that were included would be nice to serve with your own “featured” family favorite. Or perhaps you’ve been put in charge of bringing along a side dish to a family gathering or other pot luck occasion and you want to try something new . . . It’s time for the sides to step forward for a moment and take center stage.
I love this recipe for Au Gratin Potatoes. Whenever we’ve gotten together for Easter, be it with friends or family, one of the requests I’ve always gotten is “Bring those yummy cheese potatoes!” A close friend once told me the Holiday isn’t complete without them.
Hubby loves them whenever I make my Medley of Meatloaf American Style. The original recipe is one I found years ago in my now worn and tattered Betty Crocker Cookbook. You know the ones, with the checker cloth binder cover. Personally, I think it’s the chopped onions and crunchy golden top that make this potato casserole so popular.
The best part about these creamy Au Gratin Potatoes is that they travel well, making them the perfect potato side dish for potluck parties.
Mema’s Au Gratin Potatoes
6 Medium Russet Potatoes (about 2 lbs) peeled and thinly sliced
¼ Cup Butter
1 Medium White onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 Tablespoon Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
2 ½ Cups Milk
2 1/2 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (½ cup reserved)
½ Cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded*
½ Cup Fine Dry Bread Crumbs
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Peel potatoes and slice into thin disks using a food processor or vegetable slicer. Cut enough potatoes to measure 4 cups. Place sliced potatoes into cold water until ready to use, then drain.
Heat butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions in hot butter until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly; remove from heat.
Stir in milk and 2 cups of the Cheddar cheese and all of the Monterrey Jack Cheese. Return to heat and cook until boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
Drain potatoes in a colander and shake to remove excess water. Spread potatoes in an ungreased 1 ½-quart casserole dish. Pour cheese sauce over potatoes. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour.
Mix remaining cheese, breadcrumbs and paprika (just enough for a nice color). Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over top of potatoes and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until top is brown and bubbly.
* For a light, smoky flavor, a smoked white cheese such as a Smoked Gouda can be used in place of the Monterey Jack Cheese.
These yummy potatoes are a wonderful accompaniment to Sunday Supper.