This Christmas, for the first time in over 10 years, I woke up in my own bed. It was glorious. We still had to do a lot of traveling for the holidays (including a trip to Michigan in a snowstorm that took over 9 hours), but I was happy to finally begin Christmas traditions in our own home. Now that Zachary is old enough to “get” things, it was really exciting to see Christmas through his eyes. On Christmas Eve we baked cookies for Santa, and left them near the chimney. I asked him if he thought Santa would eat our cookies and in true Zachary fashion (aka, being the bottomless pit that he is), he replied, “I think he’s just going to eat 1 cookie, and then tell us to eat the rest.” Of course. The next morning, he ran to the cookies to see if they were gone, and then started tearing into his stocking and presents. It was so much fun.
Since we usually travel for Christmas, I rarely get to make anything other than cookies or something similar. This year I wanted to make a nice meal, even if it was just going to be the 3 of us. On Christmas Eve Zachary and I took a trip to the butcher and picked up some filet mignon, which I turned into au poivre the following day. So good, I’m still thinking about it. You know what else was so good I’m still thinking about it? This gratin.
I’ve had this gratin saved forever, but was looking for a special occasion to make it (or at least having more people in my house to eat it, since it’s pretty indulgent by our standards). Christmas seemed like the perfect time. This is a fairly straightforward potato au gratin recipe, but it uses goat cheese in the mix. In case you didn’t know, I’m a pretty big fan of goat cheese. That said, if you’re one of those crazy goat cheese haters, this might be your gateway recipe. Honestly, the goat cheese flavor is not very prominent at all. It lends more of a creaminess than it does a distinct flavor. I promise you’ll love it.
I halved the recipe, since it was just the three of us and we were going out of town the next day (plus, my toddler is a complete weirdo who doesn’t really like potatoes. I mean, what?). I’m putting the full recipe below though because, trust me, I will have no qualms about making the whole recipe next time.
Goat Cheese Potato Gratin
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 heaping cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (about 5 ounces)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a 2 quart baking dish.
Whisk the first 7 ingredients together in a medium bowl to blend. Arrange 1/3 of potatoes in bottom of prepared dish, overlapping slightly and covering the bottom of the dish completely. Pour 1/3 of cream mixture over the potatoes. Repeat layering potatoes and cream mixture 2 more times.
Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown in spots, about 1 hour.