A Cheesy Experiment: Potato Gratin Stacks

In which Baker Girl goes into the kitchen. . . .

A friend had shared a recipe a week or two ago for cheesy mini potato gratin stacks, made in muffin tins. The photos on the recipe looked divine and there isn't much we love more by way of food than cheese. Especially golden melted and crispy cheese. And who can ever refuse a potato dish?

So I picked up some half-and-half the last time we were at the grocery store (we always have potatoes and cheddar cheese on hand), and on this day, I decided to try to make those fancy potatoes myself.

I peeled seven potatoes (two of them huge) and sliced them thin, and that alone (30 minutes or so) took most of the prep time. If you had a food processor, it would be nifty spiffy quickly, I think. But the old-fashioned way takes a while. And yes, those slices have to be quite slim. It was two hours from fresh potatoes to gratin stacks, all told.

I used cheddar cheese instead of Gruyere and Swiss because that's what we had on hand. I used more butter, more cheese, and more cream than was called for. So sue me. That's how I roll.

The recipe said you should stack the thin potato slices in a muffin tin, put a slice of cheese on each, and then stack them higher. Relax, they will shrink down, said the recipe. Nope, the recipe lied: they didn't, actually.

I think that I had about one potato too many, and my cheesy stacks filled the tins entirely, such that when I added the shredded cheddar about 40 minutes into the bake time, the cheese melted but it didn't shrink down over the stacks like in the pretty pictures.

The recipe calls for garlic and thyme. My husband was not willing to part with any of his actual garlic, so I used garlic powder. And no, we did not have thyme. Got got got no thyme, my brain sang to me. But I put a bit of celery salt and pepper in for seasoning. I used less salt than the recipe called for; a personal approach is to reduce the salt whenever possible.

This is a picture of the results of my cheesy experiment. They don't look exactly like I thought they should, but they tasted pretty good. I think I'd add a bit more seasoning next time, and reduce the number of potatoes by about one, so the cheese melts down over the stacks like you hope it would and makes them all crispy and golden.

My soundtrack song for the girl who had no thyme, no thyme at all, is this one: the Guess Who, with No Time.   :-)

Hey, at least it wasn't itty bitty apple pies in ice cube trays this time.
Follow me: Oven Mitts of Fury, Tales of the Methodist Baker Girl. ;-)

My second attempt at mini potato gratin stacks may be found here.

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