This gratin puts a twist on the traditional by incorporating fresh herbs, mushrooms, almonds and four types of cheese layered alongside the Russet potatoes. Created by Carol White, this recipe was one of the Top 10 finalist recipes from the World Recipe Championship competition at the 2014 World Food Championships. World Recipe Championship competitors were challenged to create a signature dish using two required ingredients: cheese and potatoes.
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup half & half
2 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces grated Asiago cheese
4 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese
6 each russet potatoes, peeled and diced in 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup diced mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Garnish: Chives, chopped
Prep Time: 20min | Cook Time: 30min
Grease 12 small baking dishes and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Pour water in the bottom of a double boiler and place over medium heat. Add heavy cream and half & half to top pan of boiler. Blend well, and then bring to a simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic paste, rosemary, thyme, and nutmeg. Blend well.
Add cream cheese and stir in. Once blended smooth, add Asiago and Gruyère cheeses; use whisk to blend well. Continue whisking constantly until the sauce is smooth, and then reduce the heat to low to keep warm until ready to combine with potatoes.
Blanch diced potatoes in lightly salted boiling water for about 2 minutes. Rinse in cool water; drain and set aside to continue cooling.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter and mushrooms. Sauté until slightly softened. Remove from heat and stir into cheese sauce.
In a food processor, add almonds and Parmesan cheese. Pulse lightly to form a bread crumb-like consistency.
Transfer blanched potatoes into prepared baking dishes. Pour cheese sauce over top. Sprinkle the Parmesan/almond crumbs on top of the gratins. Place dishes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and lightly browned. Remove ramekins from oven and garnish with chopped chives.
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