Potatoes. One of the cheapest foods in stores. I buy 10 lbs for less than 2 bucks! Now what to do with these potatoes becomes the issue. I decided to try my hand at some fresh au gratin potatoes to accompany my bbq chicken. But instead of it being just plain ol' au gratin, I put my own twist on it. As usual, I encourage you to play with it, add ingredients to your liking.
Salsa Gratin Potatoes
3 Russet Potatoes (peeled and sliced using a mandoline or cut by hand 1/4 inch thick)
1/4 Onion (diced)
1/3 C. Salsa (I use a liquid or pureed salsa rather than a chunky one)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Butter (not margarine!)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Flour
1 1/4 C. Milk
1 1/2 C. Cheese (shredded, and your favorite kind)
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
1. Slice your potatoes and soak in water for 15 mins. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Put butter into a pan on med-high heat and melt. Add the flour and whisk until the lumps are gone. Slowly add the milk (only 1 cup, save the rest for later). Make sure you're still whisking to keep the lumps out. Then turn the burner down to just below med-low. Dump in the cheese and again keep whisking. (Does your arm hurt yet? Mine did!) You want to keep stirring until it turns into a creamy sauce. If it seems a bit thick, add a tiny bit of milk at a time from the last 1/4 C.
3. Take a 6x9 pan and rub the inside with butter.
4. Pour our the water and dry the potatoes a bit with a kitchen towel. Make your first layer (10-14 slices). Season with salt, pepper, and garlic (be generous with the salt). Then pour a 1/3 of your cheese sauce over the potatoes. This part doesn't need to be perfect. Sprinkle half the onions on top of the cheese. Then drizzle 1/3 of the salsa over the cheese.
5. Repeat a second time.
6. Use the last of your potatoes for the top layer. Scrape the cheese into the pan covering as much as you can and then the last 1/3 of the salsa.
7. Cover with tinfoil and cook for 90 mins.
6. Uncover for the last 25 mins to get a nice browned surface.