March Improv Challenge: Potato Goat Cheese Gratin
So I was perusing the foodie blogoshpere, and stumbled upon The Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. I thought the name of her blog was hysterical, and then I saw her Improv challenge. This sounded like too much fun. Basically a theme is given, which is two assigned ingredients, then it is up to the bloggers to let the creative juices flow, and see what they can come up with. Then on the third Thursday of the month, we will all publish our new recipes based on the theme. I decided I had to get in on the action.
So I will say, this recipe is really improv. I had a sweet potato and some white potatoes laying around, and I was really in the mood for goat cheese. So after digging around for some sort of scalloped, au gratin potato recipe idea for inspiration, I found Gratin Dauphinois (Scalloped Potatoes with Cheese) from Cooking Light. I did a little tweaking, and this is what I threw together.
It was yummy – a little sweet, a little salty, creamy, tangy. We all ate the leftovers with dinner the next night, and I had the last little bit the following day for lunch. The Bug was a fan, too.
Since I really did pull this together off the cuff (I didn’t have much time, since I only recently found out about the challenge), it could still use a tweak or two. I think next time I would not put the goat cheese in the milk, and would instead just crumble it on top of each potato layer, in order to get pockets of the tangy goat cheese. If I try this and update it (and get some better photos – I had two hungry boys and a steak getting cold, so was in a rush), I will let you know. But it was really good as-is, especially with a steak perfectly grilled by The Hubby.
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Potato Goat Cheese Gratin
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1 cup milk (I used 2% because that is what I had)
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- About 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs white potatoes and/or sweet potatoes (I used one large sweet potato, and the rest white potatoes), sliced 1/8 in. thick
- 1 1/2 T olive oil
- 3/4 t kosher salt
- black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 450°F. Spray a 9 inch round glass pie plate with olive oil or cooking spray. Rub with the cut sides of the garlic. Discard the garlic.
- In a pan, combine 2 oz. of the goat cheese, the milk and the thyme, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
- While the milk is heating, layer one-third of the potato slices in the pie plate, drizzle with ½ T olive oil, ¼ t. salt, and black pepper. Repeat with two more layers of potatoes (I uses half of the white potatoes for my first layer, then the sweet potatoes, and finally another layer of white potatoes).
- Pour the milk mixture over the top of the potatoes, and lay the thyme sprigs on top.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Uncover, crumble the remaining 2 oz. of goat cheese and sprinkle on the top.
- Bake uncovered for another 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the cheese starts to brown.