Dawn Viola is a research and development chef and food writer. She serves on the board of directors for Slow Food Orlando, and works with local and national companies as a healthy recipe consultant with a focus on organic, local and sus...
There's something comforting about a creamy, cheesy potato dish in the winter months. And while often thought of as casual fare, au gratin potatoes can go from nonchalant to elegant when special occasions call with a simple change of a few key ingredients. Here we've infused earthy thyme, rosemary and bay into a nutmeg-laced cream sauce. But that's just the beginning.
Substitute your favorite combination of herbs and spices for a new flavor profile – give sage and thyme a try, or allspice with a pinch of cardamom. Drizzle a rich finishing oil over the top such as walnut, truffle or a peppery extra virgin olive oil. Or try a different combination of cheeses like smoked provolone and Asiago or a single cheese such as cheddar or Swiss.
Thyme and rosemary au gratin potato recipe
4 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
4 russet potatoes, peeled
2/3 cup grated Gruyere
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, melt butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf over low heat; steep four minutes, and remove from heat. Slice potatoes 1/8-inch thick.
In a large oven-proof skillet, drizzle one teaspoon of the butter mixture. Arrange potatoes in a neat overlapping pattern. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper, and drizzle with butter mixture. Top with 1/3 of the cheeses; repeat two more times, reserving the remaining 1/3 of the cheeses.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg, cream and nutmeg; pour over potatoes. Sprinkle remaining cheeses on top. Place pan in oven; bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand five minutes before serving.