Like chicken noodle soup and meatloaf, mashed potatoes are one of those dishes that every family makes differently. Whether you use Russets or Yukon Gold, broth or heavy cream, odds are that you have your own recipe that you stick with year after year. Growing up, my family always used Russet potatoes and mashed them with sour cream. I would drown mine in gravy, to the point where they were really more gravy than potato. Oh yes, I was a big fan of gravy.
I rarely make mashed potatoes now, but when I do, I usually use milk and a small amount of butter to keep calories (fairly) in check. By starting with Yukon Gold potatoes, which take on a creamy, buttery consistency when mashed, the extra cream and butter aren't missed. Since we generally don't make gravy (you know, the whole vegetarian thing), I like to add herbs, garlic, and other flavorings to the potatoes before serving. One of my favorite additions to mashed potatoes is truffle oil.
The beauty of this Truffled Mashed Potato Gratin is that you can use your preferred mashed potato recipe to start with. If you think the fact that I use milk and not cream in my potatoes sacrilege, by all means sub out the milk and use cream. As long as you start with 1 ½ pounds of potatoes and don't add anything with assertive flavors (like garlic), the gratin will turn out fine. Once you've made the mashed potatoes, you can add everything else, starting with the truffle oil. The best thing about this recipe is that while it looks (and tastes!) really fancypants, it hardly takes anymore work than plain mashed potatoes--just 20 extra minutes in the oven and it's done.
- 1 ½ lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces (peeled or unpeeled--your choice)
- ¼ c. whole milk
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. white truffle oil
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ c. panko
- ¼ c. Parmesan cheese shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place potatoes and a dash of salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or under tender. Cool slightly.
- Transfer potatoes to large bowl and mash. Stir in milk, butter, truffle oil, salt, and pepper.
- Put mashed potatoes in a gratin dish or individual ramekins. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, panko, and cheese; stir until well-coated.
- Top mashed potatoes with panko mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until panko mixture is golden brown.