Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Perfect Pair: Potato Gratin

September is National Potato Month.  Celebrate with this Potato Gratin paired with some lovely Virginia wines. 

During the my time at L'Academie de Cuisine, I learned to cook without recipes by learning French techniques. One major technique is to use lots of heavy cream, butter and garlic. This is sure to make your dish fantastic!  You can find this recipe and more in the Capital Cooking Cookbook.

The Dish:  Potato Gratin


Barrel fermented chardonnay begs for the cream and cheese found in the gratin by offering similar flavors and complementary textures.  Fox Meadow sits at a higher elevation in Linden.  The Mortland’s converted a century old orchard to the vineyard that now makes some lovely wines. 

Chris Pearmund is one of the longest running winemakers in VA and his estate vineyard, Meriwether, planted in 1976 produces some lovely chardonnay that sees oak in its elevage.  The resulting buttered quality and creamy texture will surely please with the potato gratin.

The Recipe:

6 Garlic cloves
Potatoes, peeled
Parmesan Cheese
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sweat the leeks in clarified butter until soft. Smear butter on the bottom of an oval gratin dish. Mince 6 cloves of garlic and spread them on the bottom of the dish as well. The potatoes must be sliced very thin. Have everything ready to go before slicing them. Put the heavy cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Season with salt and finely ground pepper. The seasoning is what makes the dish good. Make sure to taste it before adding it to the potatoes. 

Slice the potatoes with a food processor and place in a large bowl. Add the leeks and grated Parmesan cheese. You must have butter, garlic and cheese to make a good gratin! Spread the potato mixture into the bottom of the dish. Add the cream mixture on top. Make sure to get in between the potatoes. They must be completely covered in cream. Sprinkle more Parmesan cheese on top. Clean the edges of the dish. Put a larger tray underneath the dish in case the cream bubbles over. Bake for about an hour until the knife slides through easily. You can make this on lower temperatures as well.

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