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Blue Cheese Potato Gratin is fabulous for family gatherings, potlucks, and holiday dinners. A cheesy, savory, decadent delight that will bring guests back for second helpings. So good!
Blue Cheese Potato Gratin – A Delicious Way To Spoil Family And Friends
The second I see the annual display of mums at the entrance to the grocery store, I start thinking about what I’m going to serve at holiday dinners.
Bet I’m not the only one, am I right?
After all, fall and winter are the seasons of gathering. When we have family and friends over for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s meals, we want to spoil them with something special.
Ideally, that “something special” should be a dish that is…
- Deliciously decadent and totally worth the calories
- Something they wouldn’t normally make for themselves
- Easier to make than it looks (Because nobody likes a cranky, stressed-out hostess!)
Dishes that meet all those requirements aren’t easy to come by. That’s why I start auditioning recipes early in the fall, trying to refine my holiday menus.
A couple of weeks back, we had several of my husband’s old friends from high school over for dinner. Feeding a group of nine gave me a chance to try out a few potential holiday recipes.
It was a fun evening! The conversation was sparkling, and all the food was good, if I do say so myself.
However, this recipe for Blue Cheese Potato Gratin was a standout! If you’re looking to spoil your family and friends with a special dish that’s surprisingly easy to make, this is it.
Blue Cheese Potato Gratin – A Delicious, Easy Alternative To Scalloped Potatoes
At first glance, you might think that this is really just a recipe for scalloped potatoes. There are some similarities. But, there are also a couple of differences that, as far as I’m concerned, make Blue Cheese Potato Gratin a tastier alternative that’s just as easy to make.
Traditionally, scalloped potatoes are just sliced potatoes baked with cream and perhaps a bit of garlic or herbs. Potato gratin includes sliced potatoes, too, but the slices are thinner. What you want is slices that are “paper thin” – about a 1/16th of an inch.
It’s possible to slice potatoes that thinly with a knife, but using a V-slicer makes the job a lot quicker. The Swissmar Borner V-Slicer I bought years ago is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I use it for slicing all kinds of vegetables and fruits quickly and uniformly without cutting my fingers. It’s great!
Of course, cheese is the biggest, most obvious difference between scalloped potatoes and potato gratin.
Gratins are prepared with several layers of potatoes and cheese so that rich, cheesy flavor comes through in every bite. Cheddar is a common choice for potato gratins.
That can be good. But the combination of blue cheese and parmesan in my Blue Cheese Potato Gratin makes it even better, transforming the humble potato into a side that really is “something special.”
Another difference between potato gratin and scalloped potatoes comes in the cooking. Gratin dishes are baked or broiled uncovered during the last minutes of cooking. That gives you a lovely, cheesy crust that adds texture and makes this Blue Cheese Potato Gratin look as good as it tastes.
Something to note: I use quite a bit less cream in my recipe than some people. Why?
I wanted the cheese flavor to come through strongly and didn’t think the extra cream was worth the calories. You can add an extra cup of cream if you’d like. You could even whisk some whole milk in with the cream if you’re concerned there won’t be enough liquid.
But I really don’t think it’s necessary or desirable. Mine turned out great, cheesy, creamy, and scrumptious!
Blue Cheese Potato Gratin – “Something Special” For Every Occasion
This is the time of year when a lot of us need to feed a crowd. This recipe for Blue Cheese Potato Gratin calls for a 9×13 baking dish and makes ten to twelve servings.
It’s an ideal side to serve at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, or large gatherings of family and friends.
Since it travels well and can be made ahead of time, it’s also terrific for potlucks. You can easily reheat it when you get to the party.
If you don’t have far to travel, just wrap the top with foil as soon as it comes out of the oven, wrap and wrap it in towels to keep it warm during the journey. It should stay nice and warm for thirty minutes to an hour.
What if you’re NOT feeding a crowd? Just cut the recipe in half and bake it in a smaller dish. A glass 8×8 cake pan or 1.5-quart casserole is just right. Halving the recipe will give you about 5-6 servings.
If you’ve got a small family, that still might feel like a lot. But no worries! Blue cheese potato gratin will taste just as good (and maybe even better) the next day. Kept covered in the refrigerator, it should last for 3-4 days.Print
- 1 T olive oil
- 4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and sliced very thin (between 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch)
- 6 oz blue cheese, crumbled
- 8 oz parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 T fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt
- 2.5 cups heavy cream (See recipe note – can add additional cream, or add whole milk to the cream if desired)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease an 9×13 glass baking dish or 3-quart casserole with the olive oil.
- Layer a third of the potatoes in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 tsp kosher salt and few grinds of fresh pepper. Sprinkle a third of the thyme, a third of the parmesan and third of the blue cheese over the seasoned potato layer.
- Repeat the above step twice more, until you have three layers of seasoned potatoes and cheese.
- Pour the cream evenly over the potatoes and cheese (see recipe note about the cream amounts) and cover tightly with foil.
- Bake on center rack in preheated oven for 1 hour.
- Remove foil from the dish, increase oven temperature to 400 degrees, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven. Allow the dish to cool for 15 minutes before serving.