Sure, you can make one big potato gratin, but you also can make several smaller ones in individual ramekins, and these mini gratins are elegantly and cleverly portioned. This ensures that you will be less likely to find yourself gobbling up half a baking dish of gratineed potatoes or wrestling your child for the last crunchy cheesy corner stuck to the baking dish. Just saying — it’s been known to happen.
There’s nothing more appealing and comforting than a bubbling casserole of cheesy potatoes in the winter. The ingredients are few and simple. Sour cream lends a bright tang to the cheesy richness of the gratin. Yukon gold potatoes are buttery, creamy and versatile, and hold their shape once cooked, so the gratin won’t turn to mush.
And then there’s the cheese: An authentic Gruyere cheese is the best choice for this cold-weather dish. Gruyere hails from the Swiss Alps, and if any food culture can do wintery food and cheese well, it’s the Swiss. Their alpine cheese is nutty, sweet and piquant, a byproduct of their very happy cows nibbling on the flora in the mountain meadows. Choose an aged Gruyere if you can, because it will have a little more salt and earthiness in its flavor.
A key to making these gratins is to slice the potatoes as thinly as possible. A mandolin works best for this task, but you can also carefully cut the potatoes with a knife. Keep the skins on for extra nutrients — just be sure to give the potatoes a good scrubbing before slicing. This recipe can also be prepared in a 2-quart baking dish or gratin. Just remember to share.