My husband surprised me for my birthday last year with a catered dinner party with several of our best friends. He coordinated his efforts with those of my neighbors who kindly hosted the party. A local caterer provided the delicious meal. My daughter served appetizers and Mojitos at my house before the group migrated next door. The caterer served beef tenderloin, potato and goat cheese gratin, and a spinach salad that is one of my favorites.
The next day I searched the internet for a selection of recipes for potatoes and goat cheese and downloaded several to study and select one or two to try. The opportunity presented itself last week when my younger daughter and her two children were visiting us. I wanted to prepare a special dinner for them one night and thought that I would try one of the potato recipes.
I chose the following one because of its simplicity and because I had everything I needed right on hand.
For the meat course, I prepared a flank steak with mushroom ragout and tossed salad. For dessert we had pumpkin swirl cheesecake. The cheesecake recipe is available on the Kraft foods website. The flank steak recipe was featured here a few months ago.
POTATO GRATIN WITH GOAT CHEESE AND GARLIC
(from Bon Appetit, February 2001, via epicurious.com)
1 c. whole milk
1 c. whipping cream
1 c. crumbled soft fresh goat cheese, about 5 ounces
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 t. salt
3/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter an 11 x 7 x 2-inch glass baking dish.
2. Whisk first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend.
3. Arrange 1/3 of the potatoes in bottom of prepared dish, overlapping slightly. Pour 1/3 of cream mixture over. Repeat layering potatoes and cream mixture 2 more times.
4. Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown in spots, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve hot.
I hope you try this very easy dish. If you do, you will enjoy it.
I fixed this dish again tonight with a few changes – just as good, just a little different. First of all, I only used 1/2 c. whipping cream, which I whisked with 1 T. flour. Then I added 1 c. reduced fat milk, whisked that with the cream and flour and stirred in 2 T. minced shallots, 1 minced garlic clove, some nutmeg and a dash of cloves, salt and pepper, 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese. I layered it in a gratin dish which I had sprayed with Pam, then I covered it with foil and baked it 1 hour at 375, uncovered it and baked it for another 15 minutes until the potatoes were tender when pierced with a knife. I let it sit for 5-10 minutes and served it with peas and beef steak. Delish! I think I liked it better than the first recipe.