Laura Chenel’s Chèvre & Potato Gratin

Members of my family have been known to give up mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving for this dish. It is a rich and celebratory complement to any meal. I have been making this dish for more than 20 years. When my sister-in-law gathered recipes together for a family cookbook, this is the recipe she wanted from me.

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 8 ounce Laura Chenel’s Chèvre Log
  • 8 ounces peeled and sliced end-to-end (not across)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp salt, divided (1 teaspoon for shallots, 2 teaspoons for potatoes)
  • 2 1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup half and half or whole milk
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. In a sauté pan large enough to hold all the potatoes, warm the olive oil on medium heat, add shallots and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Sauté very slowly, stirring shallots frequently for 10 to 12 minutes. If shallots begin to brown, reduce heat and add a teaspoon or two of water. The shallots should be tender and cooked through but not browned.
  3. While shallots are cooking, slice potatoes into 1/8-inch thick slices with a chef’s knife or mandolin.
  4. When shallots are completely soft and cooked through, add potatoes to the pan. Add cream, half and half or milk, remaining salt, pepper and thyme. Potatoes will not be completely covered with liquid. Simmer on low heat, the mixture should barely bubble. Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, stirring carefully and occasionally to prevent sticking. Test for doneness by piercing potatoes with a wooden skewer or the tip of a small knife until potatoes are just tender. Crumble Laura Chenel’s Chèvre Log on top of potato mixture and stir carefully to distribute and melt the goat cheese.
  5. Transfer potatoes with a slotted spatula to a 3-quart baking dish. Pour cooking cream and shallot mixture over potatoes. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and bubbly.


Shallots: This may seem like a lot of shallots but the difference in taste is well worth the peeling, slicing and crying.  Regular yellow onions can be substituted. Potatoes: Having made this dish with every possible kind of potato, I’ve found Yukon Gold has the most tender texture and an appealing, slightly golden look. Leftovers: Makes an absolutely delicious filling for omelets; add ham if you want something really rich and decadent. Used with permission, Laura Chenel’s Chevre