Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Caramelized Fennel and Potato Au Gratin with Gouda

A couple weeks ago I was chatting with one of my brothers about his Thanksgiving and, of course, food came up. He mentioned that he had abandoned the traditional mashed potatoes for a caramelized fennel and potato au gratin with gouda.

Um, hello? Doesn't that sound fabulous?

I finally got around to making the dish myself last weekend. Except I used anise (which is practically the same thing) because none of the grocery stores in my town believe in fennel, apparently. 

But! I did see that King Soopers, where I frequently do my grocery shopping, has started carrying dulce de leche so I'll forgive them for the lack of fennel. :) 

Sorry for the awful photos. I made this amongst a bunch of Once a Month Cooking so I was a little distracted.

But I made twenty OAMC meals! Score. :)

Mmmmm. It was soo good. I never much liked au gratin potatoes before making this but this turned me into a believer. The guys (my husband, brother-in-law, and BIL's buddy) all really liked this and wolfed it down even though it was slightly underdone.

Anyhow, if y'all are cooking up a big holiday dinner this weekend, make sure you include this dish!

Caramelized Fennel and Potato Au Gratin with Gouda
Serves 6-8

4 large russet potatoes
1 bulb of fennel/anise
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 cups cubed gouda
1 cup milk
4 tbsp. butter
pinch ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. flour

Slice fennel bulb and place in a skillet over medium heat along with brown sugar and 2 tbsp. butter. Saute, stirring often, until fennel has cooked down and begun to turn golden brown.

Give the potatoes a good scrub down. Then thinly slice them and arrange in layers in a oiled baking dish. Top with a layer of caramelized fennel.

In a saucepan, combine 2 tbsp. butter and nutmeg over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk in flour. Cook, whisking constantly for one minute. Pour in milk, bring to a simmer. Add gouda and continue stirring until melted.

Pour gouda mixture over potatoes and fennel. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.

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