Potatoes Au Gratin featuring Farm Fromage Cheese!

This was a pretty jam packed episode!  Find out why before you continue reading:

First of all, let me apologize for my poor French.  I just cannot grasp the French tongue!  Italian, I’ve got that down.  Meanwhile, my dad won the award for best French speaker in all of Manhattan School of Music, so we had a few funny exchanges when he was trying to teach me how to say au gratin!  I kept saying gra-TA like you would in Italian.. but the “ta” is more nasal, in the back of your throat.  Therefore, I obviously had to make a joke about it!  Here’s the link so you can have an electronic voice show you how it’s done.. http://www.howdoyousaythatword.com/word/au-gratin/

Even though I’m not the best at French, at least I tried!  I’m Greek and cannot stand when people call a “gyro” a “gyro”.  It’s pronounced “hyero”, not “gyro!”

End rant. Moving on! 🙂

I messaged Farm Fromage and asked if I could show off their cheese with a recipe. I love cheese! The cheese arrived two days later and it felt like Christmas came early. I’m being completely honest with you when I say I can taste the freshness.  It absolutely tastes different than store bought cheese. It’s smooth, creamy, melts in your mouth, is full of flavor! Great by itself, with an apple, or some wine! No additives. Handmade. Fresh cow and goat milk. And I love that this company is helping distribute the cheese that would normally have never left the farm!  Many of their farmers are old order Amish, so obviously, without cars or computers, their way of life makes it a bit hard to sell their delicious product. Great prices, vast selection, fast delivery, PERFECT for the holiday season!  You know you’re going to make a cheese platter, so why not try their cheese?! You can call or email them to place an order.  And let them know you heard about their company from me!

http://farmfromage.wpengine.com/

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Now, on to the recipe which is such a simple, low budget, quick, perfect potato dish for Thanksgiving!

You’ll need:

4 russet potatoes

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1 yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon olive oil (to coat the pan, or you can use butter if you’d prefer)

1 tsp salt and pepper (with extra black pepper, because it’s amazing with more but some people aren’t into that)

1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar (or your cheese of choice)

2 tablespoons of diced chives or scallions

Put your oven on 350°.

Wash your potatoes well before cutting. No one wants a cracked tooth on Thanksgiving! Seriously, dirt can actually do that. (In general, anything that comes out of the ground, SCRUB IT before cooking!)

Cut into bite sized pieces.  Dice your onion.

In a large bowl, whisk the salt, pepper, milk, heavy cream, flour, and only half of a cup of the cheese. If you wanted to add some herbs in here, go for it!  Maybe some parsley or thyme?  Yum. Why didn’t I think of that earlier… ach! Add your potatoes and onions. Mix. Add extra black pepper if you’d like! Coat a baking pan with olive oil or butter. Throw in your mixture. Cover with tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

Dice up your scallions or chives so they are ready to put on the potatoes.

Take the potatoes out. Mix up a bit, then leave it uncovered and bake for another 20 minutes. Take them out when you can stick a fork through them easily.

Throw the chives or scallions on top and finish with the rest of the grated cheese! Put back in your oven, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes, just until the cheese is melted and maybe a touch brown on top.

Voila!  Easy as pie. Or, at least, easier than the pie you’ll probably be making on Thursday…

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GUYS! Christmas is exactly a month away! YAY! Bring on the Christmas recipes….

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! Be thankful not just on Thursday, but every single day for what you have. Do you have food on your table every night? Sleep under a roof in a warm bed? Have someone you can’t live without? You never know when it will slip right through your fingers. Never take anything for granted. The more you make yourself aware of the positive aspects in your life, the more the negative ones will quickly fall out of your life.  Positive attracts positive!

Okay now that that’s all said and done, I have a confession…

I hate Thanksgiving food. (Stop laughing.) My friend Mike thinks I’m crazy. He loves food in general, but Thanksgiving food, he waits all year for. We’ve argued about this more than once over the last few years. Part of it has to do with you always end up feeling overly full and I hate that feeling!  Another part probably has to do with the fact that I never throw up, but one year, on our way home from grandma’s when I was around 10 years old, I said, “QUICK PULL OVER!” … and well you can imagine what happened next. I really don’t like turkey, so that’s kind of the biggest factor right there! Not a fan of stuffing or green bean casserole. Which is why I made up my own green bean recipe this year!  Check that out here…

Cranberry sauce? Not my fav. Apple pie? Eh. Which is why I made up my own apple pie recipe! (It’s all making sense now isn’t it…)

Butternut Squash soup? I made one that’s different and exciting!

The only thing I generally look forward to on Thanksgiving is this:

Enjoy the holiday with family, friends and lots of yummy food! Namaste, my friends!

Chef Stef

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