My dad was kind enough to point out that I inadvertently left “stubborn Kraut” out of my genetic make-up the other day.
Pshaw! Whatever… And if I was (and I’m not saying that I am), I’m pretty sure it’s genetic.
On days when I begin to question myself (like yesterday after my less than stellar piping experience), the best way to keep myself from actually hurling myself on the floor and throwing the temper tantrum that I want to, is to force myself back into the kitchen. I cook something that I love and that fills my heart with joy.
It usually involves chocolate.
I love them equally! Okay – that’s probably not true, but my answer depends on which one I’m currently eating. Right now it’s cheese… Mascarpone cheese to be precise. Soft, creamy, heavenly mascarpone, with a little Parmesan thrown in for good measure! This was the potato gratin I made the other day that called for a moment of silence. I went to go have some of the leftovers and there weren’t any. Like at all. My son had eaten the entire rest of the dish. The piglet! So I made some more…
I know you don’t usually put mascarpone in a potato gratin, but combined with a little sour cream and half and half it gives you a smooth, slightly tangy, and perfectly creamy potato gratin.
You could easily just make the gratin mixture by itself, but I like the crunch and the texture from a nice crispy and buttery bread topping. It’s like the ying to my yang.
Mascarpone and Sage Potato Gratin
Yields: 8 generous servings (it’s more like 6 for my family of potato lovers – or 2 for my son…)
Nonstick cooking spray
5 medium sized potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 c. sour cream (regular or lowfat – either works for this recipe)
1 c. half and half
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. white pepper
For bread crumb topping:
1 ½ c. fresh bread crumbs
1 tsp. chopped fresh sage
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 tbs. melted butter
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 qt. gratin dish (or casserole dish) with nonstick cooking spray.
Layer the potatoes in the bottom of prepared dish. They don’t have to be perfectly arranged because the bread topping will cover that anyway. Just make sure they’re in a nice flat, even layer.
In a medium bowl, combine Mascarpone, sour cream, and half and half and whisk thoroughly. Add Parmesan, sage, salt and pepper and gently stir. Pour cream and cheese mixture over the potatoes and make sure they are all submerged in the cheesy goodness. Give ‘em a little shooz if you need to. (That’s the technical term for it!)
Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Potatoes should be almost done cooking.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, sage, garlic, melted butter and salt.
After 30 minutes, remove foil and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the top of the potatoes. Bake 15 minutes until potatoes are soft and tender and bread crumb mixture is light golden brown.
Now go and enjoy! You can come back and thank me later…
(I so completely am stubborn, by the way. Just seeing if you were still reading…)