Many years ago, I was a young newly-wed with no idea how to cook. I wanted to learn though, so I spent hours pouring over cookbooks, copying recipes, watching the Frugal Gourmet on PBS and spending a large percentage of our meager grocery budget to cook one nice meal a week. We would invite friends over, all hungry college students, and have dinner together.
One of the recipes I copied in my cookbook journal was this one for Au Gratin Potatoes. I think I made it for Easter one year, when we couldn’t get home to celebrate. I’ve made it many times since and it’s always a hit.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Notice, there are no potatoes in that picture. I have no idea why. It might have something to do with 3 out of 4 of my kids talking to me at the same time. Well, you know what potatoes look like, so it’s all good. Right?
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, unpeeled
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 2 Tbs. flour
- 1 1/2 cups hot milk
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 tsp. parmesan
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper
- extra cheese for the top
Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until tender. Cool and cut into 1/4″ slices. You can peel them if you like, but I like the rustic look and flavor of leaving the peels on. Layer the slices in a buttered casserole dish.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and cook it for a minute over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for another minute. Whisk in the hot milk, stirring constantly. Stir in the cheeses and keep stirring until it’s all melted and smooth.
Pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes and top with extra shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. You can also brown it up under the broiler for a minute, if you like.