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POTATOES AU GRATIN*

Potatoes, cream, cheese and buttery olive oil. Variations include scalloped and the ever classic Gratin Dauphinoise. Whatever the name, the humble spud gets the luxury treatment it deserves. 

INGREDIENTS:

3 to 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 to 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup Butter olive oil 
2 to 3 cups heavy (whipping) cream
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan or fresh Gruyère (or Swiss alternative)
Herbes de Provence olive oil for drizzle

DIRECTIONS:

    Heat oven to 400 degrees. In an oven proof skillet (10" or 12") place potatoes, evenly, one layer at a time, sprinkling salt and pepper between layers. Drizzle Butter olive oil across the top giving the skillet a little shake to encourage the oil to drip between layers. Pour in the cream to 3/4 of the way to the top. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to low heat and cook for 10 minutes, uncovered, until the cream has reduced by half. Place in oven. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender and the top is gently browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and spread grated cheese across the top. Place back in oven for 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is melted and golden brown. Drizzle with Herbes de Provence olive oil to taste. 

    * INSPIRATION: MARK BITTMAN, NYTIMESCOOKING.COM