Friday, November 9, 2007

Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes and Olives

A friend of mine was telling me that she has potatoes and onions at home and asked me to find a recipe she can try. First thing that came to my mind was a gratin. I found this recipe at Epicurious. We both cooked this one using our own variations and it seems both versions turned out great.

She used feta instead of goat cheese. Sounded nice to me too, a little saltier. If you do use feta, take care not to add too much more salt. I'm sure you can substitute the goat cheese to any other you like or have on hand.

A good tip is to pre-cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes. It helps bring down the cooking time of the finished dish.


POTATO GRATIN WITH GOAT CHEESE, TOMATOES, AND OLIVES

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon dried herbes de Provence*, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon sugar
6 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 beef bouillon cube if desired
1/3 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
2 russet (baking) potatoes (about 1 pound total), scrubbed
3 ounces fresh mild goat cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves (wash and dry before chopping)
Salt and Pepper to taste
*available at specialty foods shops, I found a recipe for it at a site called Traditional Recipe, I will add it to the bottom.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

Coat bottom and sides of an 11- by 8-inch (26 X20cm) (6-cup) gratin dish or other shallow baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil.

In a heavy skillet cook onion in 2 tablespoons oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add herbes de Provence, sugar, tomatoes, bouillon cube, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes and stir in olives.

Cut potatoes crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices and arrange one third in baking dish. Spread half of tomato mixture over potatoes and top with half of goat cheese.

Continue layering potatoes, tomato mixture, and goat cheese in same manner, ending with potatoes.

Drizzle remaining tablespoon oil over gratin and bake, covered with foil, in middle of oven 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake gratin 20 to 30 minutes more, or until potatoes are very tender.

Preheat broiler. Broil gratin until top is golden, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle gratin with parsley.

Serves 4.

HERBS DE PROVENCE

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp dried marjoram
3 Tbsp dried thyme
3 Tbsp dried savory
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp fennel seeds

Directions:
Combine all ingredients. Mix well and spoon into a tightly-lidded jar. Store in a cool, dark place up to four months.

Use to season chicken, vegetables or meat.

Yield: 3/4 cup

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