This is now my favorite potato gratin of all time. The caramelized onions mixed with the goat cheese gives this dish a very rich flavor. Instead of all of the prep work stated in the recipe, I just use a mandoline to slice the potatoes (with the peel on) and layer the dish with raw ingredients. I have started adding about double the goat cheese called for. These are even good cold the next day. From Gourmet, September 1995.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lbs onions, halved lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise (about 7)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced or 1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- 2 1⁄2 lbs large red potatoes (about 7)
- 1⁄4 lb mild soft fresh goat cheese, chilled, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
- 1 cup milk
- In a heavy 5- to 6-quart kettle heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook onions with thyme and salt and pepper to taste, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to moderately low and cook, stirring frequently to keep from scorching, until golden brown.
- Remove kettle from heat.
- While onions are cooking, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil for potatoes.
- Peel potatoes and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- Add potatoes to boiling water and cook 5 minutes from time water returns to a boil.
- Drain potatoes well in a colander.
- Preheat oven to 425°F and lightly oil a 2- to 2 1/2-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish.
- Arrange half of potatoes, overlapping slightly, in dish and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Cover potatoes with onions, spreading evenly, and top with goat cheese.
- Arrange remaining potatoes, overlapping slightly, over cheese and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Dot gratin with butter.
- Gratin may be prepared up to this point 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, covered.
- Pour milk evenly over potatoes and bake 35 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and top is golden.
- Gratin may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
- Reheat gratin before serving.