Monday, April 30, 2012

Man Can Cook #19: Gruyère Potato Pucks

Here is a simple but really tasty side dish that is the perfect accompaniment to a steak or similar hearty meat dish. It only takes about 45min to make.

  • Mandolin
  • Muffin pan (3.5" muffins)

  • 1lb Potatoes (Red, Yukon Gold & Yellow work best stay away from Russetts)
  • 1pint Heavy Cream
  • 1/2lb Gruyère (grated)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Cooking Spray

Start by preheating your oven to 400deg and washing your potatoes and cutting off any spots. If you are really good with a kitchen knife you can slice the potatoes by hand. I'm not consistent enough so I start by running the potatoes through the mandolin so I wind up with a tidy pile of very uniformly sliced spuds. Like so:

With that out of the way we can then hit the muffin pan with some cooking spray and in each void add a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper. Then begin to layer the potatoes into the pan so as to evenly fill the space. Create a layer about 1/2" thick being sure to distribute the spuds so that there are no voids. Like so:

Then add a healthy pinch of the grated Gruyère and another sprinkle of salt & pepper. Don't go overboard on the salt as the Gruyère is a bit salty itself. Press down firmly and continue layering 1/2" think layers of potatoes followed by cheese, salt & pepper until the pan is full. Add a final sprinkling of cheese, salt and pepper then carefully pour a couple tablespoons of cream into each tin until you can just see a bit peeking up from below. If you've compacted the potatoes and cheese appropriately it wont take much cream. It should look a lot like this:

Now pop them into your oven for about 30min or so. Check periodically by poking the potatoes with the back of a butter knife to see if they are cooked. Once the potatoes are cooked and the cheese is nicely browned remove them from the oven and let them cool/set for about 10min.

Make sure to let them set a bit before trying to remove them or they'll just fall apart. Take the time to finish up your creamed spinach or open a bottle of wine. Once they've had time to set up, use a butter knife and carefully cut around each one and they should pop right out in one tidy piece. As mentioned before, I suggest you serve them with a nicely seared Ribeye, creamed spinach and a big hearty red wine.

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