Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin

Remember my buy one get one sale on onions. Welcome to 10 pounds of potatoes. Luckily, I went to a potluck with a few co-workers (yes, I totally feel smug typing that) and I brought along the starch.

Now I'm pretty sure the last time I made potatoes au gratin, I lived in Tifton. I'm also pretty sure the cheese sauce for this recipe tastes a gajillion times better than the whole pan of those other ones. Why did I never think of throwing a cheesy bechamel on sliced potatoes? Why don't I ever think of potatoes au gratin period?

I used this recipe as a jumping off point and threw together my basic cheese sauce for a topping. Let's start with four potatoes, peeled and sliced. Throw half in the bottom of a cassarole dish. Throw them in a big one if you'll be jostling it around the company frige for half the day.

Now start melting 4-5 T of butter in a skillet over med-high. Add the same amount of flour and whisk until a satisfying mustard color. Whisk in 3 cups of dairy. I needed to use up my heavy cream, so I thinned it with water. Then chuck in two pinches of salt, a dash of the following: pepper, chili pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Dump in about 2 cups of cheese and stir until smooth. I used colby-jack this time and WOW was it awesome.

Pour half your sauce over the potatoes in your dish. Arrange the rest of the potato slices and top with remaining sauce.

Bake at 400F for 1 hour covered with foil. After 1 hour, cover with breadcrumbs and Parm, or more cheese, and bake uncovered for another half an hour.

Serve to friends and be rowdy.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Setting Up with Onions and Soup

Well, I haven't been here in chilly PA too long but I've already managed to catch a good sale. Buy one get one on 3 pound bags of onions. Oh yeah. Chopped and separated into 1 cup servings and waiting in the freezer for whenever I need them. I saved the peels, in case you were wondering, for lovely stock later on. You guys are impressed, aren't you? You should be.

Boo. Fucking. Yah.

That's what 16 measured cups of frugal ambition looks like.

And this is what a mutant onion looks like.

Well, minus one cup to make my favorite kale soup again. The chorizo up here is different, but I managed to pull off the same wonderful flavor that makes the office smell like heaven. I might get fired purely out of jealousy.

On another note, let's rejoice that I have a camera again! It'll take a while to learn the kinks, but I'm well on my way to a blogful of half-assed scenery. You're welcome.