POTATO AND HAM GRATIN (for eight)
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, slivered
1 teaspoon dried sage or thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound baked ham, sliced
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cups coarsely grated cheese (Swiss, mozzarella, Jack and/or Cheddar)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 400*.
2. Combine the cream, mustard, garlic, sage or thyme, salt and pepper in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until mixture has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
3. Lay half the ham slices in a 14 x 8 inch glass baking dish. Top with half the potatoes followed by half the onions and half the cheese. Pour half the reduced cream mixture over these layers. Repeat the layering.
4. Place the dish in the center of a rimmed baking sheet (in case it bubbles over). Bake on the center rack of the oven until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 1 hour.
5. Remove the dish from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle it with the chopped parsley.
adapted from Julee Rosso and Shiela Lukins, The New Basics Cookbook