Sometimes you just have to give in to a craving.
This delicious side dish goes great with simple grilled fish. We had it with this great cedar planked salmon. But seriously, this and a green salad would be fine for a vegetarian dinner. It is the epitome of comfort food. You can, of course, make it with all cream if you like.
A mandoline slices the potatoes really beautifully, but BE CAREFUL with that thing– especially if its one of those cheap-o japanese ones like mine.
Serves 6 generously
3/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups half-and-half
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-5 russet potatoes,cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (scrub well and leave on the skins)
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, asiago, fontina, cheddar or gruyere or a mixture.
Truffle salt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400.
In a saucepan, heat the cream and half-and-half with the bay leaves, thyme, garlic, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Right before it comes to a boil remove from heat and allow the garlic and herbs to steep.
Slice the potatoes and put into a bowl.
Butter a casserole dish. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bay leaves and thyme from the cream. Pour the heated cream into bowl with the potato slices. Mix gently to coat the potatoes. Season the mix with more salt and pepper. Mix to gently.
Arrange the the potatoes in the casserole dish in layers. Pour the remaining cream over the top. gently lifting potato slices, scatter grated cheese between the potatoes, saving some for the top. Scatter thyme leaves, truffle salt if using, and grated pepper on top. Cover the dish with aluminum foil (parchment first if, like me, you don’t like to contact your food with aluminum foil)
Bake covered for about 45 minutes, remove foil, and bake open, about 20 minutes more or until golden brown and crusty on top.