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RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jenise » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:01 pm

When someone first mentioned this method to me, it was the muffin tin part that turned me off. Sounded so housewife-y, like making a pizza with store-bought crescent roll dough. So don't have the same reaction when you read the title because I've now made them and it works. Beautifully. The metal pan not only provides containment during the cook, it ensures a delightful crust that makes each little gratin a perfect, beautiful serving. Finished, my little potato stacks looked JUST like those in the picture included with the recipe on the link below. There are actually a number of recipes on the internet for this using varying types of cheese, or adding onion, etc. but for my French themed meal I preferred emphasis an emphasis on herbs and garlic and chose this recipe.

For cheese I went to Costco. I'd planned to buy Jarlsberg which is rich and melts well, but on the fly chose Havarti instead. Two reasons: 1) it's less about flavor than function, the cheese is the glue and Havarti's buttery flavor will integrate well and 2) I could buy a package of large pre-sliced squares at Costco. In my imagination, each square cut into four gave me a cheese layer without the cook who will do these for me having to grate or divide a cup of cheese between 12 portions--of which we have to make 90, so that's a considerable labor savings. Too, two Costco packages of sliced Havarti will cost less than 8 cups of grated Jarlsberg.

The only other change I made was to do the initial cook for 25 minutes at 400 vs. their 350 for 35.

Another step in my test kitchen madness involved letting them chill to cold room temp and then reheat in the microwave to test their do-aheadness. Excellent! Fresh out of the oven was best for the crusty texture but reheated was spot-on flavorwise
and didn't have that 'twice-cooked potato' flavor.

http://www.recipetineats.com/cheesy-potato-gratin-stacks-muffin-tin/
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jeff Grossman » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:44 pm

Those look really good.
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Barb Downunder » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:50 am

Oh. They do look goood...nd excellent for catering, do ahead as you tested satisfactorily, portion control and presentation and they sure look yummy.
I’m thinking a pair off them or a larger version could be a Good vegetarian dish with a suitable side if required.
I could eat rather a lot of these just with a salad.
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jenise » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:19 am

Barb Downunder wrote:Oh. They do look goood...and excellent for catering, do ahead as you tested satisfactorily, portion control and presentation and they sure look yummy.
I’m thinking a pair off them or a larger version could be a Good vegetarian dish with a suitable side if required.
I could eat rather a lot of these just with a salad.


You can't really make a larger version as you're basically limited by the natural girth of a russet potato--the stacked effect is primary to it's structural integrity. And you can't practically stack them higher than the height of your muffin tin. However you CAN eat more than one! I served three each for dinner, triangulated on a bed of fresh steamed asparagus dressed with lemon juice and EVOO.
Meat was not only not needed, it would have been in the way.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jeff Grossman » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:07 am

Made this today. It took three Russets to provide enough slices for a 12-slot tin. They're good, if a bit plain. I'll have to think about jazzing up the spicing a bit for next time.
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Christina Georgina » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:28 am

Perfect total planning! I am always concerned that something done ahead to simplify serving a crowd will look or taste off. I've gone so far as to do a test run and then check daily to see how many days it will hold and still look and taste OK. Same for component prep. I usually end up with as many components prepped ahead as much as possible and the final assembly and finish the day of if at all possible.
The only limitation of this is fridge space, thus, another step in the plan is to organize the storage of the ingredients and prep steps so that there is always room for whatever stage. I have an extra fridge which helps and very cold weather garage storage is a godsend.
For a large party, I think the head work planning and organizing is quite fun. For really large parties I ultimately have daily punch sheets for shopping, food prep, serving prep for dishes, flatware, glassware, table decoration, final prep, final serve. Saves last minute scrambles. The actual cooking prep work is fun in an equally gratifying way. It is wonderful to be well orchestrated. It would not be fun for me if done any other way.
Mamma Mia !
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jenise » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:57 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:Made this today. It took three Russets to provide enough slices for a 12-slot tin. They're good, if a bit plain. I'll have to think about jazzing up the spicing a bit for next time.


I think I used 5 or 6, but mine were just medium sized from a bag I had on hand. Better to buy bulk for conformity. I'm surprised you felt they were plain, though! Mine had lots of garlic flavor and that essential herb component from the thyme.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jenise » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:08 pm

Christina Georgina wrote:Perfect total planning! I am always concerned that something done ahead to simplify serving a crowd will look or taste off. I've gone so far as to do a test run and then check daily to see how many days it will hold and still look and taste OK. Same for component prep. I usually end up with as many components prepped ahead as much as possible and the final assembly and finish the day of if at all possible.
The only limitation of this is fridge space, thus, another step in the plan is to organize the storage of the ingredients and prep steps so that there is always room for whatever stage. I have an extra fridge which helps and very cold weather garage storage is a godsend.
For a large party, I think the head work planning and organizing is quite fun. For really large parties I ultimately have daily punch sheets for shopping, food prep, serving prep for dishes, flatware, glassware, table decoration, final prep, final serve. Saves last minute scrambles. The actual cooking prep work is fun in an equally gratifying way. It is wonderful to be well orchestrated. It would not be fun for me if done any other way.


We're SO alike. Same here. I build a lot of spreadsheets. And I make them for others, too. I have a staff of 28 for this event, and am personally doing more of the cooking than anyone else.

My latest travail: one of my staff has a friend who wants to get into the candy business, become a chocolatier--or so I thought she meant. The friend had bought this amazing machine from Italy. So two months ago that sounded like a great idea, but only two days ago did I finally get a sample. Actually, there were three samples, all alike. They were bars with little white and red things on them--squiggles out of an icing tube, I think. Two of them had the same size red and white things, one had them larger, so they were very inconsistently applied. Taste? Immaterial, they were both waxy and grainy. "Her chocolate seized," I identified immediately. Oh yeah, something went wrong in the machine and it didn't temper the chocolate correctly.

Holy Godiva, Batman, we're less than two weeks away, and we find out that this aspiring chocolatier has no idea what she's doing? And she sends samples that are wrong, and inconsistent of decoration???? That didn't embarrass her? I cannot trust someone who would do that.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Christina Georgina » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:54 pm

Oh my! Never thought of a disaster contingency spread sheet but the idea appeals to me.
Hope she pulls thru for you.
Mamma Mia !
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jenise » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:04 pm

I should have just summed it up and said these things looked like they'd been decorated by fifth graders, because they did. It's just inexcusable that Tressa's friend turns out to be a lemon with less than two weeks to go. She should have known all along that this was a bigger task than said friend could probably pull off--don't we all know the friends that can or cannot, best intentions in the world aside, pull off certain feats? When I emailed Tressa to say that unfortunately I don't think her friend can deliver the quality we expect, at least her response began "I am very embarrassed...." And I'll admit I was somewhat concerned about trusting this to Tressa, being that she was due to deliver, and did, her first child on November 25th. She's a sweetheart, but she has other priorities.

So fortunately I've got a 5% contingency in my $6K budget. I can solve this problem but it will take a lot more than the $250 I'd budgeted for this course to fix it.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jeff Grossman » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:43 am

Jenise wrote:So fortunately I've got a 5% contingency in my $6K budget. I can solve this problem but it will take a lot more than the $250 I'd budgeted for this course to fix it.

Espresso Granita to the rescue?
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Terri A » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:42 pm

Possibility for dessert? Calling it pudding is deceptive -- recipe marries features with a pot de creme. I don't know how this prices out, but it is very rich (even chocoholics stuck with small servings) and can be prepared ahead. Last Christmas everyone mostly ignored the other desserts, and fought over this for a couple of days until it was gone. The TJ's chocolate is $1.69 for 3.5 oz box. Serve with whipped cream or creme fraiche.

NYT Cooking: Dark Chocolate Pudding
http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017 ... te-pudding?


my notes / changes (was working in someone else's kitchen, with available foodstuff.):

7 oz 85% TJ's chocolate ( broke individual squares in half before food processor)
1/2 C good dark brown sugar ( slightly over)
2 C 2% milk
1 C cream
Eggs were jumbo
Extra vanilla, but no more than 1.5 tsp
Subbed Wondra (4 tbsp ) for corn starch (Wondra is extra-fine wheat flour for gravies)
( didn't work... Clumped... Strained out, added approx 1/2 tbsp cocoa and sprinkled with less than tbsp Wondra)

Poured in 2" (?) deep Corning white casserole dish
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jenise » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:16 pm

Terri, that's a brilliant recipe. For this event, called pot de cremes, it would have been a dream dessert and had anyone on my staff volunteered to make them at the getgo, I'd have wholly approved that.

Problem is at this late date is logistical. I don't have anyone available to me with the skills to pull that off or the time to scour second hand stores for the dishware to do it in. I'm stuck with what can look good on a small flat plate. These huge dinners are almost ridiculously complicated with respect to not just what we do, but who does it, where we can store it, dishware available, etc.

So I went into a little bakery yesterday and ordered six Belgian chocolate tortes that will be made and cut to order for pickup next Friday, $246 all-in and I threw in a $50 tip for the bakers. Problem solved! Btw, I found this bakery, which I didn't previously know existed, next door to a little chocolatier. They have two locations and a 'factory' in another location. Went to them hoping to buy their handmade chocolate truffles. They charge $2.35 per, which is priced for the guy off the street who might wander in and splurge on one or two and they offer no discount for large pre-orders. There I'd have spent $450 to buy two for each attendee and still had an incomplete looking plate. When I said so to the girl helping me, another customer who misunderstood that I only had $90 to spend vs feeding 90 people started yelling at me that I should shop at Costco if I was so cheap. Just amazing what people do.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Terri A » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:03 pm

Glad you found a solution -- the bakery sounds like a gem!
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Barb Downunder » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:15 am

So, they ARE yummy. Made some last night, saved the recipe. I cut the cheese slices with a plain cookie cutter to forestall any drippy bits sticking to the sides of the pan. I do not know how but there are two left to reheat for tonight.
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jenise » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:02 am

Lots of different ways to play this, too. Cheddar and onion would be a knockout combo.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Dale Williams » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:47 pm

Thanks Jenise for this recipe. We've done twice now, last night for a Traditional Right Bank wine dinner, everyone enjoyed.
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jason Hagen » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:32 pm

On the list of things to do. Thanks. We didn't have an oven for about 2.5 years but now we do.

J
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jenise » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:47 pm

Dale Williams wrote:Thanks Jenise for this recipe. We've done twice now, last night for a Traditional Right Bank wine dinner, everyone enjoyed.


[big smile]
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jenise » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:28 pm

Jason Hagen wrote:On the list of things to do. Thanks. We didn't have an oven for about 2.5 years but now we do.

J


How in the world do you do without an oven for over two years?
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:58 pm

Jenise wrote:
Jason Hagen wrote:On the list of things to do. Thanks. We didn't have an oven for about 2.5 years but now we do.

J


How in the world do you do without an oven for over two years?


Full scholarship to saute school?
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jason Hagen » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:43 pm

Jenise wrote:
Jason Hagen wrote:On the list of things to do. Thanks. We didn't have an oven for about 2.5 years but now we do.

J


How in the world do you do without an oven for over two years?


Laziness? It was a fun challenge. I had an oven where the igniter kept failing. Cheap part but delicate and a bit of a pain to change. It goes out on a hot summer day and I don't really want my oven on anyway so I just used my outdoor gas grill. That is what I did mostly but also did a fair amount putting a lid on my iron skillet and "roasting". Would finish things with my Seazal.

And I don't bake, so there is that.

Jason
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jo Ann Henderson » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:05 pm

Making these for dinner tonight with roast pork loin. Potatoes already sliced and bathing until ready to use. Will grate some onion and perhaps a soupçon of nutmeg into the cream mixture. Using grated gruyere cheese. Can't wait to try! :P
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Re: RCP: Individual potato gratins baked in muffin tins

by Jenise » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:05 pm

Jo Ann,

I thought the recipe was pretty full-proof, I made it myself before giving the recipe to two of my cooks to make up the 8 dozen needed for the dinner last night. Their results weren't as good as mine. One thing I KNOW I did different was too cook at 400, I think the recipe calls for 350. I used 400 because--well, I cook everything at 400! And I got a lot of crust where they didn't. Also, be sure to cram in as many potato slices as you can. I put mine to the top of the muffin tin level plus another layer or two. My friends last night may not have--their stacks shrank down quite a bit, something that might also have been excacerbated by the slower cook. Anyway, mine looked EXACTLY like the photo, theirs didn't quite.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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