Cheesy au Gratin Potatoes
Few foods seem as all-American as potatoes. But what you actually get from au gratin potatoes can range from curdled cream and unevenly cooked potatoes to cheese that's barely there and slices that fall into sloppy heaps. This American classic needed perfecting.
Why This Recipe Works
The choice of potato was critical for our Cheesy au Gratin Potatoes. We settled on starchy russets cut to an even, near-translucent thinness with an inexpensive mandoline slicer. If you don’t have a mandoline, the slicing disk on a food processor would also work. We tripled the amount of cheese traditionally used to intensify flavor. Looking for better melting, we used a mixture of Monterey Jack, cheddar, and Parmesan. For extra insurance, we tossed the shredded cheeses with a bit of cornstarch to prevent clumps when melting. Many recipes called for both milk and cream, but the proteins in the milk caused the gratin to curdle in the oven. We decided to make our Cheesy au Gratin Potatoes with heavy cream, cutting the cream with some chicken broth.