Au Gratin Potatoes for Two is a wonderful easy side dish to pair with anything you choose to make at home for your intimate dinner for two!
Wow. Has it occurred to anyone else that February is right around the corner? That realization hit me at about 4:00 this morning. That means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!
What are you planning to make? Or will you figure it out on February 14th?
One of the most wonderful things about being married for 21+ years is my hubby and I have figured out that any day can be Valentine’s Day. We NEVER go out on February 14th but instead choose to celebrate at home and go out to dinner at a later date. We don’t like crowds or the limited Valentine’s Day menu that is standard at most restaurants.
No matter what you decide to make at home, au gratin potatoes make a great side dish.
Au gratin potatoes are a classic, indulgent American comfort food side dish that’s welcome at any dinner table. It pairs perfectly with almost any protein.
The cheesy American version is based on a French culinary technique where potatoes or vegetables are baked in a shallow–mostly oval baking dish–often with a crispy topping such as breadcrumbs.
Although typically baked in a large dish, this au gratin potato recipe is scaled perfectly for two people and is baked in individual baking dishes.
I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes which are considered a “waxy” potato. Waxy potatoes have a low starch content and a creamy, firm and moist texture that holds together after cooking. Starchy potatoes such as Russets will work, although they can be somewhat on the “crumbly” side after being cooked. Another reason I prefer waxy potatoes is they have a very thin, fine skin that doesn’t need to be removed. One less step!
I used a nice sharp Cheddar cheese for this classic preparation. However, you could try a nutty Gruyere, your favorite blue cheese or spice it up with Pepper Jack.
This is not exactly a light or diet preparation, but a delicious indulgence for a special day!
Au Gratin Potatoes for Two is a wonderful side dish to pair with anything you choose to make at home for an intimate Valentine's Day dinner for two!
- Butter, oil or cooking spray for baking dishes
- 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (approximately 12 ounces), thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups heavy cream or half-and-half (to cover)
- Salt and white pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter, oil or spray two small baking dishes with cooking spray.
Place potatoes and garlic in a small saucepan. Add heavy cream or half-and-half and salt and white pepper to taste.
Bring to a simmer and gently cook the potatoes for 4 minutes. Remove potatoes and garlic to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Whisk grated cheese into cream until smooth.
Layer 1/3 of the potatoes into the two individual baking dishes (1/6 into each dish). Drizzle both dishes with 1/3 of the cheese sauce. Repeat layering two more times, finishing with cheese sauce.
Place on a baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes or until hot, bubbling and potatoes are very tender.
MAKE AHEAD: Prepare up to the point of baking. Cool, then cover securely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Let sit out for 15 to 20 minutes then continue baking as directed. They may require additional baking time.