Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gruyère Mashed Potatoes

After looking over my planned menu for Easter dinner, I came to the reality that my ONE oven was not going to cook a roast, scalloped potatoes and rolls all at the same time. I had plans to make this Simple Scalloped Potatoes recipe on the food network site, but thought why not adapt it a bit and use the same ingredients to make mashed potatoes. The outcome was...DELICIOUS and I'm now a big fan of Gruyere cheese.

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4-5 cups chicken broth
1/2-1 cup half and half or milk
2 Tbsp Butter 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (about 4 ounces)

Peel and chunk potatoes for boiling. Cover potatoes w/ chicken broth and bring to boil. Boil until potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes and place in medium size mixing bowl. Add the butter, Gruyere cheese and 1/2 cup of half and half. Use hand mixer on medium speed and beat until cheese and butter are melted. Depending on consistency and personal preference, you can add more half and half at this time. I would do so, by adding a quarter cup at a time, until you have the thickness you prefer. You can return to the pan on low for a few minutes, if needed to keep warm until served.

When I decided to make this recipe, I'd never tasted Gruyere cheese, and hoped it was something I could find easily. I got lucky on my first try and found it at Costco. Costco has an awesome selection of cheese, but just in case, I had sprouts on the radar for back up. If you'd like to know a little more about Gruyere cheese, here is the description listed in the Food Networks, Food Encyclopedia


Pronunciation: [groo-YEHR; gree-YEHR]

Swiss Gruyère is named for the valley of the same name in the canton of Fribourg. Though Switzerland now has AOC appellation status for the name Gruyère, the word also is used for cheeses made in other nations including Austria, Denmark, Germany and the United States. However, if and when the Swiss obtain the European Union's protected designation of origin status, other European countries will have to stop using the name. Gruyère has a semihard to hard texture that's very dense, compact and supple. The hard rind is golden brown, the interior ranges from ivory to medium yellow with occasional eyes. It has a complex flavor that's creamy, fruity, nutty, earthy and mushroomy. With the exception of French Gruyère, most Gruyère-style cheeses are not considered on a par with the Swiss original (though there are farmstead-produced exceptions). That's because most non-Swiss versions are factory-produced with pasteurized milk, whereas AOC standards for Swiss Gruyères say they can only be made from the raw milk of two milkings of cows fed only grass or hay (no silage) and must be prepared in copper pots. There are three types of Gruyère AOC: Classic (ripened for a minimum of 5 months), Réserve (10 to 16 months) and d'Alpage, which is made only from April through October from milk produced by cows grazing in high Alpine pastures.