I recently purchased a used copy of Cooking At Home On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis. I read her memoir, On Rue Tatin, years ago and loved it. It chronicles her family’s move to a village in Normandy. An easy read, it’s charming and funny, and has recipes. A few years after, she put out a proper Rue Tatin cookbook. I wanted to buy it, but for reason here and there I never got around to it. Then, not too long ago, I was browsing Barnes and Noble online and found the book, for an incredible discount. It was less than $5 for the hardcover.
Of course I wanted to make all sorts of recipes from it’s pages. While flipping through (for the 4th or 5th time) I stopped on a recipe for potato-cauliflower gratin. I just happened to have a half a head of cauliflower in my crisper. Why not? I had to by some shallots for it, but not the creme fraiche it calls for. My little grocery doesn’t carry it. I omitted it, but next time I will buy some Mexican crema or sour cream as it lacked the tang I’m sure would be the result of the creme fraiche. I would also recommend a mandolin to slice the potatoes. I think the paper thin potato slices almost melt into one another and cook properly.
Potato Gratin with Cauliflower
adapted from Cooking At Home On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis
- 1 1/2 c whole milk
- 3/4 c half & half
- 3/4 c creme fraiche or heavy cream
- 1 1/2 lb russet potatoes, peeled
- florets from 1 3/4 lb cauliflower
- sea salt & pepper
- 2 shallots, minced
Preheat oven to 375°
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, half % half and creme fraiche.
Cut the potatoes and cauliflower into very thin slices. Arrange half the potato and cauliflower slices in an even layer in the bottom of a medium gratin dish or casserole. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle evenly with half of the shallots. Top with remaining potatoes and cauliflower, ten season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with remaining shallots. Pour the cream mixture over the vegetables, lifting and moving them as necessary so they are evenly coated.
Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the vegetables gently in the baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes more. Stir the vegetable again, and bake until vegetables are tender through and the gratin is bubbling and golden on top, about another 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes as it will be blistering hot, then serve.
Note: A sprinkling of grated Gruyere or Gouda would be wonderful on top. Add during the last 15-20 minutes. Another great idea would be the addition of a thin layer of prosciutto or Serrano ham in the middle. Adding the ham would make this a wonderful main course with the addition of a salad.