Sunday, January 9, 2011
Melted Onion and Potato Gratin
Pop quiz hotshot (bonus points for naming the movie): What is better than a TK recipe? Two TK recipes rolled into one! Its easy math, awesome + awesome = more awesome! I alluded to this magical marvel in the new Twitter box to the right of where your eyeballs are looking at this moment. Ha, made you look! It is there though actually, I am just not sure about it yet. Maybe it will grow on me, sorta like a fungus...
Anywho, the recipes at hand are two Thomas Keller's that I mastermindedly melded. And the self-explanatory title clearly indicates which ones; melted onions and potato gratin. The melted onions have been used many times in the past and if I was better versed in HTML I would have a snazzy link for you to click to transport you within the realm of fond. However I am not snazzy, so you have to scroll. Ghetto I know.
Step One is the melted onions for the gratin. I inadvertently bought onions and Yukon Golds (he recommends russets for this dish. I'm sorry!) when we already had some. So now I was faced with the problem of what to do with my excess. Potato and onion are a classic combo, kinda like Mork and Mindy, Jekyll and Hyde, bacon and anything else ever. The neat thing about melting the onions, as I am sure you have all discovered on your own...right?, is that they get kinda creamy. Now when you hear potatoes, onions, and creamy you think gratin/casserole/baked dish jobbie. Or at least I did. So, make some melted onions and then see Step Two.
Step Two is potato gratin where we sneakily will slip in the onions near the end. But first take some taters, peel, and thinly slice 'em. If you don't have a mandolin go out and buy one and some Band-Aids. Everyone cuts themselves once. And badly. Slice your spuds to 1/8 inch-ish and it helps to slice them directly into cold water to prevent discoloration. My cooking vessel was a 9" Pyrex pie dish and ruined the day for about 5 small to medium potatoes. Next they were layered into a pan and covered with cream. Now TK didn't specify what kind of cream and I had a little of a two kinds. So my gratin got Half&Half and 2% milk. I'm thinking heavy cream would have worked best. Either way it is important to heavily season the cream. This is the medium that is going to season some very bland potatoes. Salt, pepper, and nutmeg are good choices. Simmer the pot of potats until the slices are just slightly not tender. Strain the cream out and reserve. This is also a good chance to taste the seasoning of the cream again. A step I forgot to do. (There is that foreshadowing again!) Now I splashed in(or gently ladled depending on your mood) enough cream to coat the bottom of the pan and laid a layer of potato down. Next a layer of melted onion. Rinse. Repeat. Make sure your final addition is a enough cream to pretty much cover the tater-onion concoction and then sprinkle on some bread crumbs. Bake in a 375F oven until the taters are fully tender and bread crumbs brown and crispy. Let cool, slice, and feast.
A little background on my night of making this dish. I worked all day on not much sleep and was dragging pretty hard. I came home with grand intentions of a full meal for Wife Zube (who was working until later) but only made it through the gratin before succumbing to the call of a comfortable chair. So, as the post photo indicates, we had this for breakfast and it was perfect. Underseasoned, but it went really well with a nice runny egg yolk and salt. Enjoy!