A super decadent potato gratin made with Swiss cheese, parmesan, garlic, thyme and half & half.
Russet potatoes are thinly sliced and stood up in rows instead of being layered on top of each other. Not only does it make for an impressive presentation but the edges get nice and crispy while the insides stay soft and buttery.
The “hasselback” in this gratin refers to a method of cooking potatoes where they’re thinly sliced but not cut all the way through so that the potato resembles a fan. They bake up with crispy edges and soft, creamy middles just like in this gratin.
You can use a mandolin to slice the potatoes or you can do it by hand. I actually prefer doing it by hand even though I have a mandolin. It helps me hone my knife skills and I really love chopping up vegetables. It’s my ‘thinking’ time.
The sliced potatoes are tossed in the half & half that’s been mixed with both kinds of cheese, minced garlic, and thyme before being stood up like little soldiers in the pan.
They bake for half the time covered with aluminum foil and then it’s taken off so the top can get nice and golden brown.
You can use any good quality Swiss cheese – not the kind in your dairy section where the processed cheese is kept but the type you find in the artisan cheese section.
Russet potatoes are best for this and I recommend using organic. The organic Russet potatoes I buy are the most perfect things on Earth. They don’t get eyes on them and last a lot longer than non-organic making them worth the few extra dollars. I can’t tell you how many sacks of potatoes I’ve thrown out because they’ve gone bad or were overrun with eyes.
This is a great side dish for entertaining or bringing to a potluck!
Or just because.
My favorite reason of all.
- 1 - 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup finely grated Gruyère or Comté cheese (or any good quality Swiss)
- ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 2 cups half & half or heavy cream
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2½ - 3 pounds organic russet potatoes, peeled and sliced ⅛th-inch thick
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 2-quart casserole pan with butter.
- In a large bowl mix both the cheeses together than remove about ⅓ of it and set aside. Mix the half & half, garlic, thyme, a generous teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper into the cheese.
- Add the sliced potatoes and toss using your hands making sure every slice is coated. Makes small stacks out of the potatoes and stand them in the pan starting at one edge and working around the perimeter then into the center last.
- Pour the remaining half & half left in the bowl over the potatoes. Season the top with more salt and pepper.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the top with the cheese you set aside. Bake 40 more minutes until the top is golden and the potatoes are fork tender.
- Remove from oven and let set 5 minutes before serving.
Click here for step-by-step pictures and more tips for making this.
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