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Recipe: Potato and Wild Mushroom Gratin

(CBS News) The following recipes are from "Alfred Portale's Twelve Seasons Cookbook: A Month-by-Month Guide to the Best There Is to Eat" by Alfred Portale with Andrew Friedman (Broadway Books).

Potato and Wild Mushroom Gratin

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, morels, or cremini, trimmed and sliced
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
4 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
2 small cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter a 9-by-11-inch casserole or gratin dish.

In a 12-inch saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, for about 6 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Peel the potatoes and, as each one is peeled, drop it into a bowl filled with cold water. Slice the potatoes 1/8 inch thick, keeping the slices together. (A Japanese mandolin works well for this.) Layer some of the potato slices in the bottom of the casserole, overlapping them to form an even layer. Spoon a layer of mushrooms over the potato slices and season with some of the garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Top with another layer of potatoes and mushrooms, and seasons with more garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. When all the potatoes and mushrooms are used, the gratin will be about 1½ inches thick.

Pour ½ cup of the cream over the potatoes and press down firmly to distribute the cream evenly. Add more cream, pressing on the potatoes, until there is enough cream to just cover the potatoes when they are pressed. This will determine the correct amount of cream.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and poke a few holes in the foil. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake about 20 minutes longer, until the cream is absorbed and the top of the gratin is browned. Keep warm until serving.

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See more recipes from "Sunday Morning"'s 2013 "Food Issue"

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