Potatoes au Gratin have been a staple of family potlucks and cookouts since God knows when. And why not? Cheese and potatoes just go together. My creation adds a few other flavor profiles not typically found in these ubiquitous potluck standards that I feel give them just enough flavor to stand out. Here is what I do:
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
1 ½ cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 sprig thyme (leaves)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ t freshly grated nutmeg
2 C heavy cream
1/3 C course bread crumbs
2 T butter, divided
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring the cream with a sprig of thyme, chopped garlic and nutmeg to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat.
While cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish with one tablespoon of butter. Melt remaining butter and mix with bread crumbs and set aside.
Place a layer of potato using half the potatoes in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Then layer half the cheddar cheese on top of potatoes. Repeat with remaining potatoes and cheese. Pour cream mixture over the potatoes. Top with bread crumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes.