12/3/07

Feta Potatoes Au Gratin

My daughters and I love feta cheese. We love anything salty so cheese, green olives, pickles... all favorites around here. We also love potatoes au gratin on cold winter nights. Typically made with cheddar, I was excited to find this recipe because it used feta. If you love greek feta cheese this is one recipe worth trying.

Feta Potatoes Au Gratin

2 T butter
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 large potatoes, peeled
fresh cracked black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup bread crumbs

Melt 2 T of the butter in a pan. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent but not brown. Add the minced garlic and cook one minute longer. Remove the cooked onions and garlic to a bowl and set aside. When the mixture has reached room temperature add the crumbled feta and mix well. This mixture can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To avoid discoloration, slice the potatoes one at a time, as you need them, to create each layer. Slice it on a mandoline or with a potato grater in 1/8" thick slices and line the bottom of a 8"x6"x2" baking dish or any similar available dish. Season the layer with pepper but not salt. Add another layer of potatoes and season again with pepper. Cover with a layer of onion/feta mix. Pour over heavy cream just barely to the level of potato. Press down each layer as you create them, the potatoes should be just sitting in the cream and not completely covered by it.

Repeat the process two more times - potatoes, seasoning, feta, cream - and then top with a double layer of potato resulting in 8 layers of potato and 3 layers of onion/feta mix. When done, press down and make sure the potatoes are just barely sitting in the cream. The potatoes will give off water as they cook so it is important not to add too much liquid.

Cover with foil and bake 1 hour until the center potatoes are completely tender. Remove from the oven, top with a thin coating of bread crumbs. Return to the oven uncovered and cook until the crumbs are golden. Remove from the oven, recover with the foil and set aside in a warm place for the cream to set and thicken (about 10-20 minutes).

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