As Saint Patrick’s Day approaches, many people are preparing to cook up a feast fit for the occasion.
And what better way to celebrate this holiday than with a classic side dish of potatoes au gratin?
This creamy and cheesy dish is always a crowd-pleaser, but the key to making the best potatoes au gratin lies in choosing the right cheese.
In this article, we’ll explore the top cheeses to use for au gratin potatoes, including sharp cheddar, gruyere, and cheeses that have lots of bold flavors.
We’ll also share tips on how to make the best potato gratin, from choosing the best potatoes to layering them in the baking dish.
So, whether you’re celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day or simply looking for a delicious side dish, keep reading to discover the greatest cheeses for au gratin potatoes.
Types of Cheese to Use for Potatoes Au Gratin
When it comes to choosing the best cheese for potatoes au gratin, there are several options to consider. Here are ten types of cheese that work well in this dish:
Havarti cheese is a semi-soft, Danish cheese that has a mild, buttery flavor. It melts well and creates a smooth, creamy texture in au gratin potatoes.
Gruyere cheese is a Swiss cheese with a nutty and earthy flavor. It’s an excellent cheese to use for au gratin potatoes because it melts easily and has a slightly crispy texture when baked.
Parmesan cheese is an Italian cheese with a sharp, salty flavor. It’s a great cheese to use for adding depth of flavor to au gratin potatoes, especially when combined with other milder cheeses.
Cheddar cheese is a classic choice for au gratin potatoes, with a sharp, tangy flavor that pairs well with the creamy potatoes. It also melts easily and creates a slightly crispy texture when baked.
Swiss cheese is a mild, nutty cheese that melts well and creates a creamy texture in au gratin potatoes. It’s a good choice for those who prefer a more subtle cheese flavor.
Brie cheese is a soft, French cheese with a creamy texture and mild flavor. It melts well and creates a smooth, velvety texture in au gratin potatoes.
Blue cheese is a bold, tangy cheese that adds a distinct flavor to au gratin potatoes. It’s best used in small amounts, combined with milder cheeses for a more balanced flavor.
Fontina cheese is a semi-soft, Italian cheese with a nutty and fruity flavor. It melts well and creates a smooth, creamy texture in au gratin potatoes.
Mozzarella cheese is a mild, Italian cheese that melts easily and creates a creamy texture in au gratin potatoes. It’s a good choice for those who prefer a more subtle cheese flavor.
Goat cheese is a tangy and creamy cheese that pairs well with the earthy flavor of potatoes. It’s a good choice for adding a unique and slightly tangy flavor to au gratin potatoes.
Experiment with different combinations of these cheeses to find the best combination of flavors for your au gratin potatoes. In the next section, we’ll discuss how to choose the greatest cheese for this dish.
How to Choose the Greatest Cheese for Au Gratin Potatoes
While there are many types of cheese that work well in au gratin potatoes, choosing the best cheese comes down to a few key factors: flavor, texture, and melting point.
When selecting a cheese for au gratin potatoes, consider the overall flavor profile you want to achieve. Some cheeses have stronger, bolder flavors, while others are more subtle. Sharp cheddar, blue cheese, and gruyere are examples of cheeses that have lots of bold flavors, while havarti, brie, and mozzarella have milder flavors.
The texture of the cheese can also impact the final dish. Soft cheeses like brie and goat cheese will create a creamier texture, while harder cheeses like parmesan and gruyere will create a slightly crispy texture when baked.
Finally, consider the melting point of the cheese. Cheeses that melt easily, like mozzarella and fontina, will create a smoother consistency in the dish, while cheeses that do not melt easily, like parmesan and cheddar, will create a chewier texture.
The greatest cheese for au gratin potatoes will depend on personal preference and the desired flavor and texture of the dish. For example, a combination of gruyere and sharp cheddar cheese will create a bold and slightly crispy texture, while using brie and fontina will create a smoother and creamier texture.
In the next section, we’ll provide a recipe for scalloped potatoes au gratin with cream and cheese.
Recipe for Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin with Cream and Cheese
Now that you have an understanding of the types of cheese to use and how to choose the greatest cheese for au gratin potatoes, let’s put that knowledge into practice with a delicious recipe for scalloped potatoes au gratin with cream and cheese.
- 2 pounds gold potatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until well combined.
- Gradually add the cream, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese to the cream mixture, and stir until melted.
- Layer half of the sliced potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Pour half of the cheese sauce over the potatoes.
- Repeat with another layer of sliced potatoes and cheese sauce.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese on top of the potatoes.
- Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the potatoes are tender.
- Let the potatoes cool for a few minutes before serving.
This recipe is perfect for any occasion and is sure to be a hit with family and friends. Enjoy your delicious and creamy scalloped potatoes au gratin with cream and cheese!
Top Tips for Making Perfect Au Gratin Potatoes
Making perfect au gratin potatoes requires attention to detail and a few tricks of the trade. Here are some top tips to help you make the best potatoes au gratin:
Use high-quality cheese
Choosing high-quality cheese is essential for making great au gratin potatoes. Look for cheeses that are fresh and have a good flavor profile. Don’t skimp on the cheese, as this is the star ingredient in the dish.
Slice potatoes thinly and evenly
To ensure that the potatoes cook evenly, it’s important to slice them thinly and evenly. This will also help to create a smooth texture in the dish.
Avoid overcooking the potatoes
Overcooking the potatoes can result in a mushy texture. It’s important to keep an eye on the potatoes and remove them from the oven once they are tender but still firm.
Experiment with different cheese combinations
Mixing different cheeses can create unique and delicious flavor combinations. Try experimenting with different types of cheese to find the perfect combination for your taste.
Don’t be afraid to add spices or herbs
Adding spices or herbs like garlic, thyme, or rosemary can add depth of flavor to the dish. Experiment with different herbs and spices to find the perfect flavor combination.
What does “au gratin” mean?
“Au gratin” is a French culinary term that refers to a dish that is topped with a crust of breadcrumbs, cheese, or buttered crumbs that are then browned in the oven.
What kind of potato is best for making au gratin potatoes?
Gold potatoes are the best type of potato for making au gratin potatoes because they have a low starch content, which helps them maintain their shape and texture during cooking.
Can I use any cheese for au gratin potatoes?
While there are many types of cheese that can be used for au gratin potatoes, some cheeses work better than others. Good options include cheddar, gruyere, brie, and fontina.
Can I make au gratin potatoes ahead of time?
Yes, you can make au gratin potatoes ahead of time. Prepare the dish as instructed, cover it with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate it for up to two days. To reheat, remove the plastic wrap or foil and bake in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through.
Can I make au gratin potatoes without cheese?
While cheese is a key ingredient in au gratin potatoes, it is possible to make a dairy-free version of the dish. You can substitute the cheese with a non-dairy alternative, such as nutritional yeast, or omit it altogether and focus on adding other flavorful ingredients, such as garlic or herbs.
How does Gordon Ramsay make potato gratin?
Gordon Ramsay’s potato gratin recipe involves thinly slicing potatoes and layering them in a baking dish with cream, garlic, and cheese. The dish is then baked in the oven until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden and crispy.
What is the difference between cheesy scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes?
Cheesy scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes are similar dishes, but there is a slight difference between them. Cheesy scalloped potatoes are typically made with a cream-based sauce and sliced potatoes, while au gratin potatoes are made with a cheese sauce and often include breadcrumbs or a crust of cheese on top.
Why does my cheese curdle in scalloped potatoes?
Cheese can curdle in scalloped potatoes when it is heated too quickly or at too high of a temperature. To prevent curdling, it is important to heat the cheese slowly and at a low temperature. You can also try adding a tablespoon of flour to the cheese sauce to help stabilize it.
What is gratin cheese?
Gratin cheese is a type of cheese that is commonly used in gratin dishes like potatoes au gratin. Gruyere, comte, and emmental are popular types of gratin cheese because they melt well and have a slightly nutty flavor. However, other types of cheese can also be used depending on personal preference.
Potatoes au gratin is a delicious and classic side dish that everyone loves. Choosing the best cheese for au gratin potatoes is essential for creating a dish that is creamy, flavorful, and satisfying. Whether you prefer a strong and bold flavor or a more subtle taste, there is a cheese that will work for you.
When making au gratin potatoes, it’s important to pay attention to the cheese’s flavor, texture, and melting point. Experimenting with different types of cheese and combinations of flavors can create unique and delicious dishes.
By following our recipe and top tips, you can make perfect au gratin potatoes that everyone will love. So, whether you’re celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day or simply looking for a tasty side dish, give this recipe a try and enjoy the delicious combination of cream, cheese, and potatoes.