Artichoke and Yukon Gold Potato Gratin
Hotel Loretto - Santa Fe
Although paring through layers of leaves and peeling to the heart of an artichoke is a knife-skills class in itself, this gratin is well worth the effort. The nutty flavors of the artichokes and the Asiago meld with the creamy flavor of the potatoes, not to mention the cream itself, in a way that will eradicate any awful memories you might have of Au Gratin potatoes from a box. Chef Peasley served this dish at the House with a porcini and herb–crusted rack of lamb, but it makes a nice side dish for any meat, or could even be a hearty vegetarian entrée.
- 1 lemon
- 4 small artichokes
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped (about 1 medium clove)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 medium Yukon gold potatoes
- 4 ounces asiago cheese, grated, divided
Juice the lemon and add the juice to a pot of salted water. Bring to a boil. Reserve the used halves of the lemon. Trim the bottom of the artichokes and peel off the outer leaves. Cut off the top 2/3 of the artichoke and the stem at the artichoke’s base. With a paring knife, hollow out the center of the artichoke, scraping away all traces of the leaves and the fuzzy choke, then trim the tough peel off the base of the artichoke. Only the heart should remain. Rub the hearts with the reserved lemon halves.
Slice the artichoke hearts 1/8-inch thick, and blanch in the lemon water until tender, about 5 minutes. After they are cooked, shock the slices in an ice bath and drain. Combine the cream, garlic, salt, and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and let reduce slightly. Peel the potatoes and slice 1/8-inch thick. To prevent discoloration, hold them in cold water until you are ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush a 5 x 8-inch loaf pan with olive oil. Drain the potatoes and layer 1/4 of them in the loaf pan. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of the cheese, then sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining cheese over the potatoes. Put 1/3 of the artichokes on top of the cheese. Repeat the layering of the potatoes, cheese, and artichokes, in that order, two more times. Cover with a final layer of potatoes and pour the cream mixture over everything. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 35–40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the foil, sprinkle the gratin with the 3 tablespoons cheese that you set aside earlier, and return the gratin to the oven for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has browned.
After you take the gratin out of the oven, let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting. Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the gratin, cut it into four servings, and remove the slices with a spatula.