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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Perfect Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin

Cheesy Good potatoes are just what sounded good for dinner tonight and you should try them too.

Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

2 pounds of baking potatoes (about 6 medium)
1 clove of garlic
1 small onion sliced very thin
6 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of half and half
5 tablespoons of flour
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 ounces of Velveeta, cubed
About 2-1/2 cups of shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Peel the potatoes and slice thin, about 1/8 inch. A mandolin works fantastic for
this, but see the tip below if you are hand slicing. Hold the potatoes in a bowl
of cool water to keep. Once you are ready to layer the dish, drain the potatoes
and then transfer them to a clean dish towel and pat thoroughly dry.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly spray all over a
9 x 13 inch baking dish with olive oil spray.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan or large skillet, heat the butter then add onions and garlic
cook till golden
Then turn heat down and add the half and half  stir into the cooked mixture
until the half and half is hot. Stir in the Velveeta and melt, keep from boiling.
Now stir in 5 tb flour and whisk to make a rue.
Cook and stir over medium heat until all of the cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
It is important not to boil. If the mixture gets  too thick, thin with more half and half or a little milk.

Layer 1/2 of the potatoes in the bottom of the buttered baking dish. Season with
salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle about 1/3 of the remaining cheese on top.
Repeat the layer of potatoes, salt and pepper and another 1/3 of the cheese.
Reserve the last 1/3 of the shredded cheese for the last few minutes of cooking.
You can also use more cheese in the layers and on top if you like.

Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the top of the casserole and bake, uncovered,
at 425 degrees F, for about 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and potatoes are fork
tender. Remove from the oven, top with the remaining shredded cheese and return
to the oven for about 5 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown. Serves about 8
- prepare extra layers to double, testing potatoes in the center before topping
with the final cheese and returning to the oven.

Tip: If you like your potatoes sliced thicker, or you don't have a mandolin, cut
the potatoes about 1/4 inch thick, place them into a pot, cover with water and
bring to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat, remove pot from the burner, and
let them sit in the water for 5 minutes. Drain well, pat dry and proceed.

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