Sunday, July 19, 2009

Recipe Review: Mireille's Summer Potato Gratin (Patricia Wells)

Potato Gratin is a hugely popular dish in my house. There is something so comforting about potatoes, garlic and cream - and in my kitchen, usually the addition of blue cheese. When summer temperatures reach close to 100F, you really don’t want something as heavy as the traditional gratin. My Mother’s Garden have had some gorgeous young Yukon Gold potatoes lately, which inspired me to make a summertime alternative. After a morning of searching through many cookbooks, I chose Patricia Well’s “Mireille’s Summer Potato Gratin” from The Provence Cookbook. This recipe is dairy-free, using reduced chicken stock and bacon instead of cream and butter. If you are vegetarian, of course you can omit the bacon and use vegetable stock. This recipe is amazing. We’ve had it twice in the past two weeks and know that it will appear on our table throughout the year. Sadly, I couldn't find a link to the recipe, but will share a few of my notes. This recipe is honestly worth the cost of the book, or at least a trip down to the library. As I didn't have chicken stock, I used 1 and 1/2 cup of water with 3 chicken Oxo cubes, simmering about 10 minutes to reduce.
The recipe calls for 20 garlic cloves, which I'm sure is divine, but I grew bored of chopping after 3. I also couldn't resist adding a sprinkle of Herbes de Provence.
While the onions and bacon are simmering, I slice the potatoes and start to layer them in a baking dish. The onions, garlic, and bacon smell amazing when cooking. Florida sweet onions are in season here, which adds a subtle sweetness to this dish. I should also mention that I used sliced applewood smoked bacon as I didn't have a slab. So my bacon is not cubed.
The reduced chicken stock marries well with the sweet onions and smoky bacon.
In my over, the potatoes were tender in about an hour.
The flavor of this dish is so bold, you'll want to serve this only with a salad or vegetable. To serve this as a side dish would be a sin.

1 comment:

kate said...

ummm, sounds delish@!!