Blue Cheese Potato Gratin

From our friend chef Tony Maws, named one of Food & Wines top chefs for 2005, at Craigie Street Bistro in Cambridge. We loved the original Craigie Street and Tony continues to impress us in his new space, Craigie on Main. One step inside the doors and you feel like you've been transported to France.

Ingredients:
5 medium Russet potatoes
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
½ lb Fourme d' Ambert or Persille du Pont Astier
1 cup milk (approx)
1 tablespoon picked thyme
5 scratches nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Break cheese into chunks and place in bowl. Add ½ cup milk and, using fork, break cheese; combine and mash with milk until mixture is creamy.

Peel and rinse potatoes. Use mandolin to slice into long pieces no more than 1/8 inch thick. Place in large bowl along with thyme, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and enough milk to coat potato slices.

Butter casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper. Place a layer of potato slices (about 1/3 of the total potato slices) on the bottom, overlapping the slices in a “fish-scale” pattern. Add 1/3 of the cheese mixture and salt and pepper the first layer. Repeat for two more layers, adding enough milk to barely cover the top layer of potatoes before spreading the remaining 1/3 cheese mixture over the top.

Cover with foil. Bake at pre-heated 350 degree oven for 2 hours or until you can easily slide a sharp knife through potatoes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes more or until golden brown. Let rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves 8