Easy and Decedent – Porcini, Celeriac, and Potato Gratin
The “Seasons”, all four of them are new to me. After all I was born in the Caribbean and grew up in Miami. Until about the age of twenty the seasons consisted in mild or hot, rainy or not. In Miami we get all excited when it hits like 75˚F (24˚C) At which point we would pull out our heavy coats and sexy boots, and work it like we saw in the movies, in those places where it actually gets cold.
All that changed when I moved to Italy. I know when you think of Italy, you think its mild weather and well lots of wine. But no, I followed a boy to L’Aquila, which is considered by some as the coldest city in Italy. Beautiful as it was I had to learn about all sorts of things like wool, layers and gloves.
My body rebelled so fiercely against the cold that my fingers swelled up like balloons. After weeks to tests and blood work my doctor prescribed cashmere lined gloves for extra warmth.
Fast forward a few years, and I have come to appreciate the seasons. As far as I am concerned the one redeeming quality of fall is the food. Here below is my recipe I recently developed with one of my favorite fall ingredients, PORCINI MUSHROOMS!!!!
What I love about this particular recipe is that it is so easy to make. After only like 15 minutes prep, you can pop it in the oven and move on to all those other things you have going on. (Paint your nails, chat on Facebook, read a book, vacuum 😉 … that’s up to you to decide…) Come back 45-50 minutes later and you have an absolutely gorgeous, succulent, decedent side dish. Ready to serve.
Since its made with cream you can serve it with a hearty green salad to balance it off. I recently discovered wasabi rucola that would be divine. I also like it with lamb chops. Either way you and your man will be incredibly happy with the results!
My husband loves this recipe. So much so that he insists that it’s one of the top 3 recipes I’ve ever made for him.
- 1 large potato, peeled and sliced
- 1 1/2 fresh porcini mushrooms, sliced*
- 1/2 cup celery root, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup fresh cream
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 springs of thyme
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and white pepper to taste
*Note: If you can’t find fresh porcini substitute with 15 grams (0.5 ounces) of dried porcini mushrooms. Soak in water as per package directions. Layer in, as below.
Serves: 2. Total cook time: 1 hour. Active time: 15 minutes
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
2. Place thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper and cream in a small sauce pan. Simmer on low for about 10 minutes. (The time it takes to peel and chop vegetables)
3. Clean, (peel), and thinly slice vegetables (celery root, potatoes and porcini mushrooms*). Keeping each category separate.
4. Strain cream. Place about 2 tbsp cream on bottom of a small oval au gratin dish. (The outer measurements of my baking dish were 9×5.5 x2 cm).
5. Add layer of potatoes, followed by layer of porcini mushrooms, followed by layer of celery root, followed by a layer of porcini. Add one more layer or potatoes and porcini mushrooms.
6. Pour remaining cream on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for approximately 50 minutes.
7. Remove from oven. Let rest 10 minutes. Serve warm.
This recipe will also make a great Thanksgiving side dish!
Make ahead friendly. Just reheat.