Amy’s Fat Pants Potatoes

Amy’s Fat Pants PotatoesAny Way You Slice It
I have a number of kitchen tools that I just can’t live without. Some of them I use on a daily basis (like my mini prep) but other tools only come out occasionally. These tools are worthy of their spot in the cabinet because they make quick work of whatever I am doing. My tortilla press is one example. My mandolin is another.

If you do not own a mandolin, I would highly recommend you put it on your Christmas list. It doesn’t even need to be one of the super-expensive freestanding kind, though those are pretty nice. The only requirement is that it be sharp because to do what it needs to do, you gotta have a sharp blade. Just watch out for your fingers. It’s really easy to take off the tip of your finger. I speak from experience!

Don’t let the danger turn you away, though. A mandolin can be the key to crispy homemade potato chips or really fantastic gratin dishes like the one below that I like to call Fat Pants Potatoes. I only ever make these during the holidays because if you eat them more often than that you will have no choice but to wear pants with a little give in them.

If you don’t have a mandolin, never fear. A similar result can be found using a food processor with a slicing blade or by even, gasp! using a knife like most people.

Amy’s Fat Pants Potatoes
Adapted from Food 52 Genius Recipes
Yields 6 to 8 servings

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes sliced about 1/8-inch thick
3 cups half-and-half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 to 1-1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese (Cave Aged if you can find it)

Preheat oven to 400° F. Rub the inside of 13 x 9-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the butter.

Smash the garlic with the side of a knife and sprinkle generously with salt. Chop and scrape the garlic into a mushy paste.

Combine garlic paste, sliced potatoes, half-and-half, and remaining butter in a Dutch oven and stir. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and grate in the nutmeg.

Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon. After 10 minutes the potatoes should be a little tender, and their starch will have thickened the liquid considerably. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish. Smooth the top as much as possible. At this point you can reserve the dish, covered, in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake—even overnight. Bring the dish to room temperature before baking.

Sprinkle the gratin with Gruyère and bake until deeply golden-brown (about 20 to 30 minutes).

Allow the gratin cool and set a little before serving.

Comments are closed.