It's another rainy day here in southern California, and to be honest, I couldn't be more pleased. I LOVE rain. I love the sound it makes, the way it leaves the air so pure, and the earth so fresh and green. We haven't had a good rainy season here since at least 2005, so this is a rare treat and a blessing. I want to revel in every minute of it and treat myself to as many warm cups of tea, lazy afternoons snuggled up with a blanket and a good book, and winter comfort foods as possible!
Now if you live anywhere else in the world other than California, you are probably snowbound, grumbling about heating bills, and rolling your eyes right now. I know, I know. We have year round perfect weather, WE POOR CALIFORNIANS. Boo hoo us, right? I'm sorry. We make up for it with horrendous traffic, smog, and outrageous housing costs. Does that make you feel better? I thought so.
On to the food! This potato dish is something I have had on my "Cook this!" list for at least a year, and I don't know why I waited so long, because it is fantastic! If you like garlic (oh! I do!) and if you like goat cheese (oh! I really, really do!) you are going to love this. Meltingly tender with a tang of goat cheese and the rich roundness of garlic and cream.
Warm Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese and Garlic
Adapted from Epicurious.com
I suppose you can use any potato for this, but I love the Yukon Gold potatoes especially, and rumor has it they are better for you too. Of course, the FULL CUP OF CREAM might negate that, but who's counting anyway? Besides, beach season is soooo far away, and it's cold NOW. So lets enjoy warm comforting dishes now, and leave the calorie counting to, oh, May. Deal?
This is also one of those recipes that are impossible to get pictures of. It's always eaten up before I can get a shot! I have made this over and over again since we first tried it at Christmas, and this is the first time I was able to get pictures. So don't expect there to be leftovers, because it goes fast!
3-4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1 cup whole milk
1 cup cream
5 oz soft fresh goat cheese (about 1 cup crumbled)
8 - 10 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take 8 - 10 garlic cloves...
...and finely mince them.
Now get 3-4 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes...
... and peel them...
... until they are all peeled. Slice them thinly (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. I use my food processor slicing attachment, because I am lazy like that).
Now take 5 oz goat cheese...
... and place it in a mixing bowl.
Add in 1 cup heavy cream...
...and mix it together with the goat cheese, breaking up the goat cheese with a wooden spoon. (By the way, you can do all of this in a stand mixer, just be sure not to overmix the cream. Otherwise, you will end up with... garlic and goat cheese whipped cream. Yuck!)
Now add 1 cup whole milk and whisk until smooth.
Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt...
...one teaspoon freshly ground black pepper...
...and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
Finish by adding the the minced garlic
Now you need, an empty baking dish. You want it to be empty, because we are going to put stuff in it.
Add enough of the cream mixture to coat the bottom of the pan, then layer on some of the sliced potatoes.
Fill the pan with 1/3 of the potatoes, and top with 1/3 of the garlic goat cheese cream.
layer another 1/3 of potatoes and 1/3 of cream, then the third 1/3 of potatoes and 1/3 of cream. Are you confused yet? I hope not. Otherwise you will screw it up FOREVER! Ok, not really. Make sure the top layer is pretty and neatly arranged, since you are going to have to look at it when you take it out. Or don't make sure: prettiness is subjective anyway.
Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender and top is golden.