Roasted Red Pepper-Potato Gratin

October 30, 2007

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A perfect casserole for cooler weather … Use whatever cheese you find in your market. Paneer would be fine or a nice hard sheep’s cheese. The goat’s cheese-water mixture functions as the sauce. You can substitute a béchamel or use heavy cream. Actually, heavy cream would be wonderful! SAM

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds sweet onions, thinly sliced (4 medium)
1 pound new potatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
3 ounces log goat’s cheese
3 ounces water
6 ounces roasted red bell peppers, minced
2 tablespoons grated mild cheddar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unseasoned breadcrumbs, divided
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch gratin dish and set aside. in a large, covered chef’s pan over low heat, sweat the onions in 1 tablespoon oil, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic after 15 minutes and continue cooking another 15 minutes, until translucent. In a small stockpot, cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. In a small saucepan over very low heat, combine the goat’s cheese, water, and bay leaf stirring until melted. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the onion mixture, potatoes, goat’s cheese mixture, roasted peppers, cheddar, and 1/3 cup breadcrumbs. Discard the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Turn into the prepared gratin, sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Bake for 50 minutes or until browned.
Makes 4 servings.