This week’s Liberty Heights bag of goodness contained Purple Skin Caribe Potatoes, Sunchokes aka Jerusalem artichokes, Green Butter lettuce, Satsuma Mandarins, Cucumbers, and Goat’s Milk Yogurt from Drake Family Farms. Lettuce, cucumbers, and mandarins are pretty easy to handle… but Goat’s Mike yogurt and Sunchokes! I’m not a big fan of Goat anything so this was a challenge. I tried to hide the first 8 oz in a smoothie. It was ok, but a little too tangy. So the second 8 oz was hidden in some chocolate chip banana muffins.
Now the sunchokes. I did find a Mario Batali recipe to roast them, but I roast everything and wanted to do something different. Then I ran across Streaming Gourmet’s riff on Jacques Pépin’s Gratin Dauphinois. Streaming Gourmet had changed the recipe to use sunchokes and cheddar. And his picture is a thousand times better than mine! This was really tasty, but I felt like I’d hidden the sunchokes instead of highlighting them. If you are looking for a great potato gratin, this is for you, but I wish I’d roasted the sunchokes after all so that I could taste them better.
Here is my version. My version uses the food processor to prep everything and uses shallots instead of leeks because I still have shallots from last weeks’s bag. I also removed some steps that were unncessary to the end product for quicker preparation.
Gratin with Potatoes and Sunchokes
2 cloves garlic
3-4 shallots cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 lbs red skinned potatoes, peeled
1 lb sunchokes, peeled
4 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine (or butter)
2 cups soy milk (or milk)
Dash of freshly grated Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, use processor to grate (might use Gruyère next time)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, use processor to grind cheese
1. Prep in the food processor in this order: grind parmesan, grate cheddar, pulse shallots and garlic till finely chopped, slice potatoes and sunchokes.
2. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Layer the potatoes, shallots and garlic, and sunchokes in a well-oiled 9×13 baking dish (**see note), making several repeating layers.
3. Add chunks of the margarine and soy milk to a small pot. Grate nutmeg over the top and season with salt and lots of pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
4. Once the soy milk is heated and nearly boiling, add 3/4 cheddar and stir to melt. Pour it over the casserole and top with remaining cheddar and the parmesan.
5. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes covered with foil. Remove the foil and bake another 45 minutes.
6. Remove it from the oven let it cool for about 15 minutes before serving. That allows the flavors to meld and the cheese and milk to cool into a creamy mixture.
** This made a real mess of the baking dish and I spent a lot of time with a brillo pad. I was lucky I’d made it in my cheap pyrex glass dish. Make sure you use non-stick cooking spray, a pan shaped so that you can soak it in the sink later, or a dish that you don’t mind scrubbing with a brillo (or some combination of the above). My dish was oiled with olive oil, but that didn’t seem to help much.