Potato Gratin with Mushrooms
Gratin is the most comforting French comfort food and is not hard nor time consuming to make. Though a gratin is technically any dish with a crunchy top, it has typically come to reflect one which is filled with cream and a carbohydrate and topped with cheese. While a gratin can be made of anything—squash, potatoes, or only mushrooms, it is the potato which provides the most calories and glucose and thus pairs better against the sheer amount of simple cream and cheese. Like most dishes, people tend to overdo gratins, filling them with more cheese, spices, and other ingredients which drown the vegetables, overpower the cream, and distract from the pure magic that happens with simple, minimalist ingredients. Typically, other recipes have extra cooking steps for the mushrooms to remove the water but which make it a more time consuming preparation and is totally unnecessary. If you have issues with alcoholism and addiction or insomnia please read those chapters in my book as potato can potentially contribute to those problems and you should be aware of the nuances of consuming potato, and make sure you use a cream free of gums and additives to avoid any gastrointestinal troubles.
POTATO GRATIN WITH MUSHROOMS
3 lbs Yukon or Gold Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 package (8 oz) brown Crimini Mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbsp flour (einkorn or spelt)
1 pint heavy cream (no additives!)
2 tbsp butter
6 oz good, sharp cheese such as parmesan or goat milk gouda, shredded
1 tbsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Toss sliced mushrooms with flour to coat evenly. This will prevent the mushrooms from watering down the gratin. Then on the bottom of a casserole dish spread a thin layer of cream. Then lay down one layer of potatoes, then a bare layer of mushrooms, very lightly salt this layer then pour a little cream over it all and repeat until reaching the top of the dish or the last of the potatoes and mushrooms. Save most of the cream for the top, but first lay down the grated cheese as the last layer, adding a few thin slices of the butter across the cheese, salt everything, then pour the remaining cream over the cheese (if you put the cheese on last without the cream it will burn and turn hard and chewy). Place a sheet of parchment paper over the dish and bake in the oven for 70 minutes until the top is spotted with golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.