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I’ve been wandering around my home searching through old recipes that feature potatoes and before I even found one, I started daydreaming about potato gratin.  There are many variations on this wonderful dish, in fact, I’m sure you have several recipes you’ve made over the years or you have a favorite in mind that your Mom used to make. 

Think thinly slice potatoes, butter, milk or whipping cream and your favorite seasonings.  I happen to love fresh thyme in my potato gratin, but you may prefer to keep things simple with just salt and freshly ground pepper or nutmeg.

A classic gratin dish by Emile Henry.

A classic gratin dish by Emile Henry.

The hallmark of a gratin is shredded cheese place on top or even breadcrumbs.  Some gratin recipes use no cheese at all and just cream (equally as tasty, I assure you).  The finished gratin will have that tell-tale crust, while the ingredients underneath it will be moist and flavorful.  Of course, we have the French to thank for this technique.

Some things to keep in mind, the next time you pull together a delicious potato gratin.  First, be sure to thinly slice the potatoes to the same thickness (using a mandoline would be helpful).  This will ensure even cooking.  Once you’ve placed your layers into the gratin or baking dish, consider using a baking sheet or jelly roll pan on te rack below your gratin dish to catch any drips.  Finally, allow the finished gratin to sit for about 10 minutes prior to serving.

I’ll be making my version of a potato gratin later this week and plan to post my method and photos.