Robert J., who has a young son to feed, was asking for recipes the other day, and as I put one of these together today to take to a potluck tonight, it dawned on me that this would be great kid food. I'm reprinting it from the old FLDG for his consideration.
Date: 10-Sep-2005 20:16
Author: Jenise Email
Subject: RC: Bacon, potato and cheese cake (gratin)
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This recipe, or more to the point the picture of gleaming, crispy bacon pieces reaching toward the rich yellow potato center in a gleaming copper skillet, has been an object of almost uncontrollable lust for me ever since acquiring Patricia Wells' Simply French book presenting the cuisine of Joel Robuchon.
A few weeks ago I could stand it no more, and boy am I happy that I gave in because the result exceeded expectations in every way. My gratin, thanks to using more bacon than the recipe called for, looked exactly like the picture. EXACTLY. And the taste was pure hog-fat heaven--every bite was ecstasy. A bottle of '96 Du Tertre and a bowl of cold and crispy green salad in a mustard vinaigrette made it a complete and perfect meal.
As main course gratins go, I've never had better. And could it be simpler? Just four ingredients. Here's the recipe, and I've noted my adjustments.
1 tblsp clarified butter (I used olive oil)
6 oz thinly sliced bacon, trimmed of excess fat (I used 12 ounces of center cut)
2.5 lbs baking potatoes (I used five medium russets)
1 1/4 c grated Gruyere cheese (I used Emmenthaler)
Black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Drizzle the olive oil or butter in the bottom of a baking dish. I used an 8 inch round, two quart gratin dish.
Arrange the bacon in the baking dish so that the pieces will line the inside edge and extend outward away from the dish. Arrange one third of the potato slices in the bottom, then sprinkle with a third of the cheese and a grind of black pepper. Repeat two more times, then fold the overhanging bacon back onto the potatoes. Plan it so that the bacon covers all but a 2" venting hole in the center. Bury any extra or lean trim pieces underneath the folds of bacon or fill any gaps--no need to waste it, and it all turns crisp.
Bake uncovered until the potatoes offer no resistance when pierced with a knife, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour off the accumulated bacon grease, then allow to rest about 15 minutes. The potato cake can be unmolded to serve or cut into pie wedges and served straight from the dish.
The recipe claims this will make six to eight servings. I disagree; or at least, 6-8 is fine for a side dish portion but as a main course, which is how we ate it, it would barely serve four.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov