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Morel Potato Gratin with Garlic Tarragon Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken broth, homemade if possible
- 1/2-1 cup fresh morels, cleaned and cut into halves or quarters, or 1 ounce dried morels
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic, from about 3 medium cloves
- 4-5 Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick (use a mandolin if you have one)
- 1 yellow onion, sliced very thin
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped, or fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 ºF, and butter a 12 x 9 inch ovenproof baking dish. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream and chicken broth to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the garlic and the morels. Simmer gently without the lid until the liquid has reduced by about 1/3, stirring occasionally so the garlic does not stick to the bottom of the pan, for about 30 minutes.
- Place the sliced potatoes in a large bowl, and set aside.
- To caramelize the onions: Warm the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large frying pan. Once the butter bubbles, add the onions and stir. Reduce the heat to low, and cook the onions, stirring occasionally until they start to brown, about 20 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar and cook a few more minutes, until deeply golden. Set aside.
- Pour the cooked cream over the potatoes and gently toss.
- Add the caramelized onions, tarragon, and the salt. Gently toss.
- Pour the potato mixture into the baking dish, season with a few turns of the pepper grinder, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 50 minutes.
- Test for doneness by stabbing a potato slice with a knife; if still firm, bake another 5-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of tarragon or thyme before you bring it to the table. Eat hot, warm or cold.
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