Earthy Delights Recipe

Potato, Blue Cheese & Chanterelle Gratin

Potato , Blue Cheese & Chanterelle Gratin
This dish has one of the most distinctive flavor combinations I've ever experienced, especially considering that the mushrooms and the potato both tend to have mild flavors. All kinds of things start happening when you add blue cheese to this wonderful base. See for yourself what it can do to liven up your table when served with just about anything. As a main course for vegetarians, this is great. It's also wonderful served with beef or pork, and makes a great accompaniment for fish or poultry. Make sure the cheese is at room temperature when you make the recipe.

5 ounces crumbled Blue Cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 pound fresh Chanterelle mushrooms (you can substitute or mix these with fresh Hedgehog mushrooms or Trumpet Royale mushrooms)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, sliced into very thin rounds


Position the oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 400 F.

Thoroughly butter a 13X9X2-inch glass baking dish.

Place the cheese in a medium sized bowl and add about 1/2 cup of the cream. Mash the mixture to a chunky paste, mixing in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Mix in the remaining 2 cups of cream.

Melt the butter in a heavy pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and herbs. Sauté until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has reduced. This should take about 8 minutes.

Arrange half of the potatoes on the bottom of a prepared dish. Spoon 3/4 cup of cheese sauce evenly over the top. Top with all of the mushroom mixture, about 3/4 cup of the cheese sauce, then the remaining potatoes. Top with the remaining cheese sauce. Cover the dish with foil.

Bake the gratin for about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the potatoes are tender, the top is golden brown, and the sauce is thickened. This should take an additional 30 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Serve hot.