Every holiday menu should include one dish that feels positively luxurious. You can decorate your pumpkin pie with gold leaf. Serve a chestnut soup so rich with cream it coats your tongue as it goes down. Carve a filet mignon roast and serve it with big spoonfuls of horseradish-spiked sour cream. Build a tower of cracked crabs and lobster tails.
But you know me. I like truffles. Truffles are my luxury ingredient of choice.
When you add earthy, fragrant truffles to a traditional potato gratin, comfort food rises to a whole new level.
If you're worried that fresh truffles will wreck your budget - well, okay, maybe a little. But for a dish like this you don't need the ultra-expensive stuff. Use the less dear black Burgundy truffles ($27/ounce), or fresh Oregon truffles (I get them for about $20/ounce), or even frozen truffles, which can cost even less. Boost the truffle flavor with truffle oil and truffle salt and no one will be the wiser. I also used a truffle-infused cheese called caciotta al tartufo, which I can get at either Costco or Trader Joe's, but a mild plain Fontina would work too.
I was supposed to spend tonight at a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with a group of my favorite Los Angeles food bloggers. Sadly, not. This is the dish I was planning to share. I'm taking a bite for you, friends, and hoping there's another holiday together in our future.
Truffled potato gratin
Comfort food meets luxury in this special holiday side dish. Look for fresh or frozen truffles online from specialty retailers.
- 2 pounds Idaho russet potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 6 ounces truffle-infused cheese, like caciotta al tartufo (can substitute fontina), shredded
- 4 ounces fresh or frozen white or black truffles
- about 2 Tbsp white or black truffle oil
- truffle salt
- freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a heavy casserole dish or cast iron skillet with cooking spray.Peel the potatoes and slice them about 1/8 inch thick. Warm the half-and-half in the microwave until it's steaming but not boiling. Make one layer of potato slices in the pan, overlapping the slices slightly. Sprinkle on about a quarter of the cheese, then grate some truffle over the top. Drizzle on some truffle oil and sprinkle with truffle salt and pepper. That's one layer.Continue building the gratin in the same manner, making three layers of potato slices and four layers of cheese and truffle (end with the cheese and truffle stuff). Pour the warm half-and-half over the whole thing.Bake about 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender, the cheese is browned and crusty, and the smell is bringing the neighbors in. Serve immediately, drizzling a little more truffle oil and grating a little more fresh truffle over each serving.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8-10 servings