So after our weekend of homemade mashed potatoes made with heavy whipping cream, chickens browned in bacon fat, and mini cheesecakes I thought is was high time to return to our regimen of Cooking Light recipes for our weekday meals. Since I had just bought a brand new mandoline over the weekend, I turned to a recipe I had been eyeing since the July 2007 issue of Cooking Light. The recipe was for a Ham and Gruyere Potato Gratin. Ham is one of my favorite foods (and yes Trey, I love corn too) and anything with with cheese and potatoes had to be good. Well let's just say that this particular recipe wasn't worth coveting for 10 whole months. In Cooking Light's defense, most of their recipes are amazing. I often wonder at the flavor and delicious tastes of their healthy recipes. I think the problem with this recipe is that some things are not meant to be scaled back in order to make it into a healthy cooking magazine - and Potatoes Au Gratin (in my opinion) fall into that category. Potatoes Au Gratin are famous for their cheesy creamy goodness and if you skimp on the cheesy and the creamy I don't think you have much of anything as far as the au gratin is concerned. I also think I contributed to the blah-ness of this meal by placing the potatoes in a bowl of water after I cut them in order to keep them from browning. The potatoes soaked up too much water during this step and it cooked off into the dish I used to prepare the gratin. Despite the uneventfulness of this dish, Forrest still brought the leftovers to work and reported back that it was better the second day. I love having a husband who will eat anything - it makes screwing up in the kitchen so much sweeter.
Ham and Gruyere Potato Gratin
Cooking Light July 2007
PreparationPreheat oven to 350°.
Combine first 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk; set aside.
Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in milk mixture; bring to a boil. Cook for
2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add 1/2 cup cheese, stirring until smooth.
Arrange half of potatoes in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour half of sauce over potatoes; top evenly with ham. Top with remaining potatoes and remaining sauce; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender and the cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes before serving.
The Mandoline by the way, works amazingly and is so much fun to use!