Yield: 4 servings
Time: 20 minutes prep; 1 hour at 375F
- 4-5 small potatoes, washed, peeled, and sliced thinly
- 1 Tbs. of oil, butter, or bacon grease
- 1 rounded Tbs. of flour
- approx. 1 cup of milk (or cream)
- approx 1.5 cups of grated cheese (swiss, emmenthaler, monterey jack, and/or fontina are good choices)
- a handful of plain bread crumbs (you could use panko, but regular breadcrumbs work fine)
- peel, slice and arrange the potatoes in a baking dish
- make a light roux: heat your fat of choice, add the flour to it, and whisk together
- cook that for a couple of minutes to get rid of the floury taste
- add your milk or cream, little by little, as it thickens, whisking the whole time
- add salt and ground pepper
- when the sauce coats the back of a spoon, but isn't too thick, add the cheese, a handful at a time, stirring or whisking it in (the cheese will further thicken the sauce, so you don't want it too thick to begin with)
- pour this over the potatoes, and stir it all together to get them well coated with sauce
- sprinkle on the breadcrumbs, and bake at 375F for about an hour
- I cover the baking dish for all but the last 15 minutes.
- You could use a mix of breadcrumbs and grated parmesan or romano for the topping.
- The cheese you use is up to you, but should have a sufficiently low melting point to incorporate into the bechamel. I find cheddar is rather oily, and I wouldn't use something like mozzarella that might get gummy.
- The finished product really wasn't that yellowy; it seems to be a function of taking the photo indoors after dark.