So actually, I cooked for two, because I do that, but I could have made this for one. They were individual portions, so I count it. Potatoes Au Gratin were a mainstay in my house growing up, and I believe they still are, even in the absence of all of the kids hanging around there.
The ingredients are simple, the result way more than the sum of its parts.
I made this one night because I had everything required, and I had some chicken legs in the freezer to round out the meal. Everything required in this case, included potatoes, shallot, heavy cream, butter, thyme salt and pepper. Adjustments could have been made to include garlic, rosemary, onion, whatever you have on hand. The little yukon golds I had were the perfect size for my ramekin potatoes au gratin. These were small, and had I been eating with someone with a larger appetite, I might have used my larger ramekins, but for these, the 6 oz. size was perfect.
It starts with melted butter in the bottom of the dish.
Then I layered very thinly sliced (on the mandoline) potatoes some of the shallot, thyme, salt and pepper. Every second layer also got a tablespoon of cream.
I filled each one to the top, five or six layers, making sure to finish off with cream.
I baked them for 20 minutes at 425 along with the chicken.
These are such an easy quick addition to dinner, and they make a quick after work meal feel decadent and celebratory. The individual servings are fun and helpful for portion control, and if you have company, they make your company feel special. Plus the ingredients are ones that you could easily have on hand, and you don’t need much of them if you are just making one or two portions.
Individual Potatoes Au Gratin (serves 1)
1 tbl melted butter
3 (ish) small potatoes (yukon gold, baby red – baby purple would be gorgeous too.) Sliced 1/8″ thin with a sharp knife or with a mandoline
1 small shallot sliced thin and separated into individual rounds
3 tbl heavy cream
1-2 sprigs of thyme, chopped, plus an additional piece for garnish (optional)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pour the butter into the bottom of a 6 oz ramekin. Line the ramekin with four to five slices of potatoes – enough to cover the bottom of the ramekin completely. Add a couple of rounds of shallot, sprinkle the layer with thyme, salt and pepper. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, then more shallots, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover this layer with 1 tablespoon of the cream. Continue layering the ingredients, and adding a tablespoon of cream every second layer. You will probably get five or six layers. Finish with the third tablespoon of cream, even if you only total five layers. Top with a decorative sprig of thyme if you choose, and bake for 20 minutes until the gratin is golden and bubbly, and the potatoes can easily be pierced with fork. Let rest for 2-3 minutes and serve.