- 3 ounces finely grated Manchego, Sharp White Cheddar, Gruyère or Comté cheese
- 2 ounces finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1 cup, or 250ml, of heavy cream
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon of whatever fresh herbs you have on hand, like thyme, rosemary, parsley, and basil, roughly chopped (You can also use a mix of dried herbs, buy only use 2 teaspoons)
- Coarse ground salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ to 2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8th-inch thick on a mandolin slicer (3 to 4 medium size potatoes, the longer & thinner the better) I use a mix of red and white potatoes. Rinse the potatoes with cold water to release some of the starch and thoroughly drain.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with butter (I find a deep dish casserole, oval or rectangular, works best). Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Combine cheeses in a large bowl. Transfer 1/3 of cheese mixture to a separate bowl and set aside. Add cream, garlic, and herbs to cheese mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add potato slices and toss with hands until every slice is coated with cream mixture. Separate every slice so the cream mixture evenly coats them them.
- Pick up a handful of potatoes, make a neat stack, and lay them on end in the casserole dish with the edges vertical. Stack the potato slices like this from the outside perimeter, working your way to the center until all potatoes have been added. The potatoes need to be very tightly packed. If necessary, slice an additional potato, coat with cream mixture, and add the slices to the casserole (this is why longer & thinner potatoes work best, because you get more slices). Pour excess cream/cheese mixture evenly over potatoes until the mixture comes half way up the sides of the casserole. You may not need all excess liquid.
- Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake about 30 minutes more, until the top is a light golden brown. Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Return the potatoes to the oven and bake until they are deep golden brown and crispy on top. This could take another 30 minutes, or so. Let the potatoes rest for a few minutes before serving.
Serves: 4 to 6
Total time: 15 minutes of prep work, plus 1½ hours baking