Potatoes au Gratin….a la bacon

I was watching the Food Network late Saturday morning while decompressing from the decorating installation I had just finished. See picture here.

And while I was watching, Paula Deen’s son’s new show Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen came on. I don’t know what it is about that show but I just love it.

Anyway this past week he was cooking a wedding anniversary dinner of steak and potatoes for this wife.

Nothing out of the ordinary except that as he was making the potatoes au gratin he used a method for the white sauce that I had never seen before.

I was intrigued.

I decided I must have potatoes au gratin.

So I made them.

With bacon and a lot less calories,  ie no butter or half and half.

YUM.

Here is what I made.

Adapted from Jamie Deen’s Potatoes au Gratin

Yield: 2 large servings
Potatoes au Gratin a la Bacon 
Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bacon, cut into lardons (1/4 inch slices)
  • 3/4 cup milk (I actually used powdered milk because that’s all I had)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes (10 ounces), scrubbed and well washed, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-calorie mozzarella cheese
  • 5 tablespoons  grated Parmesan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a small to medium dish.

In a medium skillet, cook the bacon until almost crisp, remove from pan (reserving the bacon grease in the skillet). Add milk, garlic, salt and pepper to the bacon grease in the skillet. Bring to a light simmer. Add the potatoes to the saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; the potatoes should be just covered with the liquid. The starch from the potatoes aids in thickening the sauce (no flour or cornstarch required).

Make the first layer by pouring half of the potatoes into the prepared baking dish. Add half the cheeses to the top of the first layer. Pour in the rest of the potatoes and finish covering with the cheeses and top with the cooked bacon.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden and bubbly,  20 more minutes.

Common Sense note: Bacon infuses food with such great flavor. A little can go a long way. To keep my bacon fresh and make it easy to cut into small pieces I freeze it. Bacon is so easy to cut in its frozen state and I never have to worry about it going bad because I didn’t use it up fast enough.

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