Ina Garten is my new go-to person for fennel recipes. Her Onion and Fennel Soup Gratin, which I just made last week was so good I decided to try her Potato Fennel Gratin recipe.
Ina's recipe calls for a buttered casserole dish for baking the gratin. I decided to use the same pan that I used to saute the onions and fennel since the handles were safe to go in the oven. One pan to clean was the bonus!
I also think the stainless steel helped conduct the heat better, giving the gratin a wonderful crusty top. I also have a fondness for crusty potatoes!
The gratin was the perfect side for our sirloin-cheddar cheese burgers with caramelized onions and sauteed carrots! I highly recommend this potato gratin recipe - DH had two helpings!
Here is some interesting information on Russet Potatoes and Luther Burbank who developed them in the 1870's. You'll see if you read to the end of the article, that Wisconsin is one of several russet-potato-growing states in addition to Idaho and several others.
I'm sharing this recipe and mosaic for Mosaic Monday at Little Red House with our hostess Mary and all the other Mosaic Monday participants. Please stop over and see Mary's beautiful photography and all the rest of the fun! Thank you, Mary, for hosting this great event.
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Recipe found Here
My adapted recipe serves 4
1 fennel bulb
1/2 very large onion, thinly sliced (like Vidalia or other sweet onion)
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream (I substituted 1/2 cup of fat free half and half)
1-1/2 cups grated Gruyère or good Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the fennel stalks and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the core and thinly slice the bulb crosswise. You should have approximately 2 cups of sliced fennel. Saute the fennel and onions in the olive oil and butter on medium heat for 15 minutes, until tender and slightly browned.
Peel the potatoes and slice. (Using a mandoline makes quick work of this step.) Mix the sliced potatoes in a large bowl with 1 cup of cream, 1 cup of Gruyère, salt and pepper. Add the sauteed fennel and onion and mix well. (I did all of the mixing in the pan I used to saute the onions and fennel).
If not using a large saute pan as I did, pour the potatoes into the prepared baking dish. Press down to smooth the potatoes. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 1/2 cup of Gruyère and sprinkle on the top.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly.
Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve.
Update: I'm linking this Ina Garten recipe to Happier than a Pig in Mud who is hosting a celebrity cook-a-long with Ina Garten Recipes!