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Gateau adds versatility to mashed potatoes
I have experimented with mashed potato gateau for quite a while, and it is only after a lucky occurrence that I discovered the richness and complexity of this dish.
This potato gateau — which can be offered as a side dish or entree — is designed to be served a couple of days after it is baked and refrigerated.
There are two distinct steps to follow, which help the mashed potatoes to become a gateau au gratin. It is also possible to prepare a sauce for the potato cake. I would encourage you to use a whole-grain mustard-cream sauce or a roasted pepper-tomato coulis. You can serve this dish with any kind of poultry, fish or meat.
MASHED POTATO GATEAU
10 large russet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut in half
1 cup melted butter
1 cup milk
1⁄4 cup herbs de Provence (lavender, thyme, basil, oregano)
Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup half-and-half
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot, bring 12 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the potatoes over medium heat for 30 minutes, or until tender.
Transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl and mash while adding the butter, milk, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Taste and add more seasoning as needed.
Using a large spoon, transfer the potato mixture to a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Spread the potato mixture evenly in the pan. Sprinkle the Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses evenly over the top. Carefully add the half-and-half then bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden brown.
Remove the potato gateau from the oven and let it cool. Refrigerate for a day or two, covered. Before serving, cut the gateau into wedges or squares. The mashed potatoes will have solidified into a gateau cake.
Potato gateau is ideally served at room temperature with a salad, or reheat it for a hot meal by sprinkling it with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil and baking for eight minutes at 350 degrees. The taste is just astonishing.