Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Eve with Jessie's potatoes

Last night I was invited to Christmas eve dinner at my friend's, Yesenia ("Jessie"), up in Washington Heights . The food was divine! Jessie and her husband worked in the kitchen all day making everything from scratch. This morning I am still stuffed from all that good eating.
That's Jessie, preparing her finger licking potatoes, which have become a holiday tradition for her family. The potatoes were so good that I am on the hunt for the recipe. I found a similar recipe that should be just as tasty....
Potatoes Gratin
(recipe from Gourmet Magazine)
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 cup milk, heated just to boiling
1 cup heavy cream, heated just to boiling
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 3-quart gratin or shallow baking dish. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Peel potatoes and cut into thin slices (about 1/8-inch thick). Add potatoes to boiling water and parcook 4 minutes. Drain potatoes well in a colander.

In gratin or baking dish arrange potatoes, overlapping them, in 3 layers, sprinkling first 2 layers each with 1/2 cup Gruyere and salt and peppers to taste.

Heat milk, cream and nutmeg in a small bowl. Season mixture with salt and pepper and pour evenly over potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake 30 minutes, or until top is golden and potatoes are tender

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