Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Creamy Rosemary Potato Gratin

My mom and The New Basics Cookbook are to blame for my addiction to this incredible, easy potato side dish. Mom used to make it in a huge roasting pan for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and just about any other time it made sense. Then I made it as a vegetarian main dish for the lunch special at The Still Life (served with a simple salad and sometimes half potatoes and half sweet potatoes). The hardest part is cutting potatoes thinly, but the whole thing can be made the day before, cooked halfway, then finished on the day of. If I'm making it ahead, I leave off the parm and bread crumbs, cover it with foil, and cook it for about half an hour. Then just pick up at the sprinkle stage in the directions and cook for about 45 minutes more (uncovered).
It comes with a warning - do not try this if you don't want to crave it on almost every chilly, wintry day.

Creamy Rosemary Potato Gratin
serves 6

3 pounds Russet potatoes
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (sub onion if you can't find shallots)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 T finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 8oz block of cream cheese
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 t paprika
salt & pepper to taste
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
  • Preheat the oven to 325. Oil the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
  • Peel and very thinly slice the potatoes. To keep them from turning brown as you work, put the slices in a bowl and toss with 3/4 cup of cream.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan then add the shallots and garlic. Saute until soft and just starting to get a brown edge or two.
  • Add the bay leaves, rosemary, remaining cream, cream cheese (break it into little chunks), paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk it until the cream cheese melts and the sauce is smooth.
  • Toss the sauce gently with the potatoes.*
  • Dump everything in the 9x13 pan and smooth out any potatoes that are sticking up. You don't need to do a fancy scalloped potato layering job, but you also don't want major air pockets. 
  • Sprinkle with the Parmesan and then the bread crumbs.
  • Bake until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden and bubbly - a little over an hour.
*To make this on a busy work day, I made the sauce the day before (including the 3/4 cup cream that gets tossed on the pots). Then I warmed up the sauce and slid the sliced potatoes into the pan as I cut them. Worked great and split the prep into two little pockets of time that I had.


  1. Delicious, did you and Katie ever make this at the BonJour Cafe?

  2. I have a menu from that somewhere. I think our signature dish was grilled cheese.

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