One of my boyfriend’s and my favorite things to get when we go to a steakhouse (besides the steak, duh) is potatoes au gratin. What’s not to love about thin-sliced potatoes that get crispy in the oven, between layers of decadent cheese sauce, creating a multitude of flavors and textures in each bite? That’s right, nothing.
When I tried to find a good recipe for this dish though, I could barely find anything that didn’t rely heavily on sticks of butter or cups and cups of heavy cream. However, after some serious sleuthing, I was able to uncover a recipe from one of my favorite healthy chefs on Food Network: Ellie Krieger. She always tries to bring a healthy twist to recipes, and this one is no exception. The best part: you don’t miss the extra fat and added calories at all!
Her original recipe doesn’t even call for butter in the first place, but I used a bit to grease the pan in place of olive oil spray. After all, a girl’s gotta eat. I’m not going to go all out and say this is a healthy meal, per se, but if you have the craving for cheesy potato goodness, its worth it to cut some corners, fat-wise.
Potatoes au Gratin
Inspired by Ellie Krieger
Serves 4 (as a side dish)
- Butter (to grease the pan)
- 4-5 Russet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced into thin slices using a food processor with a slicing attachment *
- 2 cups cold milk (2 percent low-fat)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large or 2 small sprigs rosemary
- 1 1/4 cups grated colby-jack cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
* If you don’t have a slicing attachment or food processor, just cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch slices using a sharp knife.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use butter to grease a 9-inch pie pan.
2. Put the milk and flour into a large saucepan and whisk until the flour is dissolved. Add the garlic and rosemary and heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and is thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the rosemary, and stir in the salt. Add 1 cup of the cheese and stir until melted.
3. Arrange half of the potatoes in the baking dish. Pour over half of the cheese sauce. Add the remaining potatoes and top with rest of the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for one hour, until bubbling. Put under the broiler and broil on high until the top is browned, about 2 minutes. Serve hot.
Not bad, huh? Serve alongside some grilled steak or pork chops, and you’re in business.