Sunday, October 18, 2009

Potato and Fennel Gratin...Ode to a Tuber - Part Ten!

I don't cook as many potato dishes in the summer as I do in the fall and winter and those that I do make in the summer usually end up on the grill. Even though we were grilling, I was ready for some comfort potatoes. This year, I have developed a real fondness for fennel! I love its rich taste especially when caramelized. I even tried growing some fennel in my garden this year, but all I was able to reap were lots of fronds and no beautiful bulb. Fonds don't do you much good in cooking but they are pretty.

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.

Potato-Fennel Gratin
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Recipe found Here
Printable Recipe

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!

32 comments:

  1. Susan, you do it every time! That is convince me I must make whatever you share on your blog. :)

    Potatoes and fennel are such a fabulous combination of flavors, and your gratin looks so delicious, baked just the way we love it ~ creamy with that nicely browned top. Yum.

    Beautiful mosaic, too! xo

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  2. This gratin looks wonderful. I have never had a Ina Garten recipe that I did not devour. The photos are beautiful!

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  3. Fennel and taters:) Like Ollie and Mack:)

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  4. Susan, I love your odes :) I have yet to try Fennel. Have to put it on the shopping list! Alice Waters has a very nice Fennel Salad with Mushrooms and Parmesan you might like to try.

    Your gratin looks perfect, really delicious crust! I can just taste it! and that burger!

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  5. That sound so good! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  6. Looks delicious - always looking for new ways to make potatoes instead of the old standbys. I tried fennel for the first time this summer and also liked the flavor...
    Thanks for the tip!

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  7. Looks scrumptious! Great mosaic. Sharon

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  8. Omigosh, that looks delicious! I love fennel; I can't wait to try that! Thanks for sharing your mouth-watering images at MM. :)

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  9. This looked soooooo delicious that I printed your recipe.....also the Onion and Fennel soup Gratin!

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  10. Oh I love Ina! Even if I don't make the recipes I just love to watch and listen to her prepare them. This looks wonderful and thanks for sharing the recipe. ~Jeanne

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  11. I enjoy Ina Garten so much and your collage can melt in my mouth!!

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  12. Susan, this looks so yummilicious! i watch Ina Garten too!

    i love the framed presentation of your mosaic!

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  13. Mmmmm...I can almost smell the wonderful aroma of this dish! I love roasted fennel and this looks incredible! Going to print this out...thanks! Happy Mosaic Monday!

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  14. Wow - looks fabulous! Thanks for the recipe. Have a beautiful new week...Kathy

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  15. You never fail to get me hungry! shooot!

    If you have a moment — I would love you to stop by and say hi!

    TTFN~~ Claudia ♥ ♥

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  16. Oh boy...now you did it...I am salivating! What a perfect golden crust on that fennel dish!

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  17. That looks sooo good! We're trying to lay off the carbs here but this oen I may have to try:)

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  18. That does look like comfort! I can just taste that burger..delicious!
    Lovely ,mosaic, Susan!

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  19. Hi Susan! Yum! Potatoes gratin are my favorite comfort food! I will definitely try this recipe! I've never cooked with fennel, so this will be a new adventure for me! Happy week!...Debbie

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  20. Susan, this looks so yummy...what a perfect combination and your photography is stunning...

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  21. Hi Susan, your mosaic makes my mouth water -yum! Your gratin looks perfect! The crust looks just right! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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  22. I would love to try this particular dish but I have to admit I'm a little scared of fennel. Does it have a strong licorice taste? You make it look so very very good :-) Your hamburger plates are soooooo far from what mine look like lol. Love everything you do Susan.

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  23. I love potatoes cooked just about every way imaginable and your skillet dishes look tasty indeed! Love your mosaic ... suitably framed for display on the wall ... just beautiful ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

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  24. Susan, you NEVER disappoint with your Ode to Tuber posts. I love a good potato gratin, and yours looks delicious. The crusty top is my favorite ... I think using the stainless steel pan was a wonderful idea. ... The sirloin burger with caramelized onions looks mouth-watering good.

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  25. I love potatoes with the gold crusty stuff on top. And this one looks delicious!
    Brenda

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  26. That's a super recipe- I made it too. I love fennel and was on a kick for a week: I put it in a salad, roasted them just with olive oil and salt and pepper (fabulous!) and then made this dish. Really liked it and am thinking about serving it over the holidays.

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  27. Susan, always love your tuber series and this one looks delicious!

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  28. This is such a gorgeous dish. I would be honored if you would submit the recipe to our December's BATTLE FENNEL and participate in the fun!

    Please click here for more details: http://tiny.cc/ySuy6

    I love your blog by the way :) What fantastic recipes and photos. I added it to my reader.

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  29. Hi Susan! I just walked in from work and boy would I love this right now! I have no doubt that it's amazing. I've never tried to make anything with fennel before, think I might give it a go! Thanks so much for joining the Cook-Along:@)

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  30. Hi Susan,
    Your Kitchen must has smelled wonderful as this lovely Gartin was cooking.It just looks delicious. Than you for sharing and have a great day!

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