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Old 06-14-2014, 10:07 PM   #1
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ISO help making au gratin potatoes

I tried to make homemade au gratin potatoes for the first time last week. I used my food processor to slice the potatoes with great success. My roux came out runny, but was still tasty. I snuck a little horseradish into the mix.

My biggest issue was that the potatoes turned brown and oxidized. I tried to make sure that the roux covered them up and then added cheese in layers to try to keep the potatoes covered. Unfortunately, about half of them still turned brown.

Any tips to prevent the potatoes from turning? I've heard that vinegar can help cut pectin oxidation. I'm worried that just soaking the cut potatoes in water will make the roux even runnier.

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Old 06-14-2014, 11:13 PM   #2
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Was there a time delay between slicing the potatoes and assembling/baking the dish?
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:57 AM   #3
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I agree with Andy. Slice the potatoes just before you are ready to assemble the casserole. Have everything ready to go and then slice the potatoes. While slicing the potatoes, I have put the slices into lemon water to keep them from turning dark. Then I dry them on paper towels before layering them in the casserole. A friend of mine parboils the potatoes, cools them, and then slices them. This cuts down on cooking time. If your sauce is runny, gradually add a little more thickener until the sauce is to your desire. Good Luck! Let us know how your next try turns out.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:01 AM   #4
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I sliced the potatoes and within a minute or two I assembled the dish. I had this on the front of my mind to try to make sure that the browning didn't happen. Alas.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:16 AM   #5
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You'll never have that problem with this. Just add more cheese if you wish.Here's my recipe for

Perfect Scalloped Potatoes

3 pounds potatoes, peeled, and sliced very thin ( I use my mandolin)
3 cups milk
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
5 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with a rack set in the lower third of oven. Combine sliced potatoes and milk in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, and immediately reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 3 minutes.
2. Place a colander over a large bowl and drain potatoes, reserving milk. You should have 2 cups of thick, starchy milk. If potatoes have absorbed more than 1 cup of milk, add enough milk to bring the reserved milk volume to 2 cups.
3. Rub a 3 1/2-quart oval baking dish with garlic and butter. Arrange sliced potatoes in the baking dish; season with salt and pepper. Dot with remaining butter and pour over reserved cooking milk and cream. Sprinkle cheese over top.
4. Transfer baking dish to oven and bake until cheese becomes deep golden brown and milk has reduced and thickened, 80 min approx
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:27 PM   #6
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Try keeping the sliced potatoes in a bowl of cold water until it's time to assemble the ingredients.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:28 PM   #7
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I learned to boil my potato slices first. I use red or Yukon gold potatoes because they will hold their shape, and I boil them so I no longer have to worry about burning the cheese while trying to get the potatoes cooked.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:31 PM   #8
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I boil mine first as well. They don't have to be totally cooked.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:28 AM   #9
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I usually just grate the cheese, then slice potatoes and layer them as I slice with cheese, S&P and dots of butter. Then, when the pot is full I add cold milk to just below the level of the top layer of potatoes and cover. If I'm in a hurry, I'll put them in the microwave for about 5-10 minutes (depending on how much in a hurry I am) then transfer to oven and let bake at 375 covered until they are almost done, then I'll uncover and top with cheese and let finish. This makes really soft, cheesy potatoes with just a very slight sauce as most of the the milk absorbs into the potatoes. If I only bake them it's takes an 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on how much I'm making and if I nuke them it cuts down time to about half of that. They never turn brown except for a slight amount of browning around the outside edges where they are in contact with the dish.

Oh, BTW if you nuke them you have to either have them in a really big microwave-safe dish or watch carefully because the milk will boil over when it gets hot.
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