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Pimento-Cheese Potato Gratin



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La Belle Cuisine


Pimento-Cheese Potato Gratin
The Times-Picayune, New Orleans LA
November 12, 2009
By Judy Walker

"The Lee Brothers speak fondly of 'the house pate of the South,'
as pimento cheese has been called. This recipe, from their

The Lee Bros.
Simple Fresh Southern:
Knockout Dishes with
Down-Home Flavor

cookbook, is related to macaroni and cheese and scalloped potatoes,
as well as pimento cheese sandwiches... This pimento-cheese potato
gratin is perfect for Thanksgiving. The Lee Bros. write that they
made 1,800 pimento-cheese tea sandwiches for their first New
York book party. They were all gone in the first 20 minutes."

Makes 6 servings

3 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 1⁄2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
and sliced into 1⁄4-inch thick rounds
3⁄4 cup heavy cream
3 shallots, finely diced (scant 1⁄2 cup)
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed dried red chile flakes
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 9-ounce jar roasted red peppers or
piquillo peppers, with their liquid
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese,
coarsely grated (about 2 cups)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a 3- to 4-quart stockpot, bring 2 quarts water and 2 teaspoons salt
to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Drain.
In a small saucepan combine cream, shallots, chile flakes, remaining
1 teaspoon salt, black pepper and 2 tablespoons liquid from the jar of
roasted peppers. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chile flakes have
begun to stain the cream, about 2 minutes. Add half of the cheese and
stir until it melts, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
Layer roughly a third of the potatoes in a 6-cup greased baking dish, overlapping them slightly so that they fit in an even layer. Scatter half
of the roasted peppers on top of the potatoes (cut up any peppers that
have remained whole so that they lie flat), and repeat layering potatoes
and peppers until all the peppers and potatoes have been used.
Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes and peppers, and agitate the
dish to distribute the liquid throughout. Cover with foil and bake on the
middle rack for 15 minutes.
Uncover the dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, and place
the dish on the top oven rack. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cheese is
bubbly and gently browned on top. Serve immediately.

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