Garlic Potato Gratin + Asheville, NC

I hope you had a wonderful Easter! We went to Asheville, North Carolina for the weekend to explore and I must tell you about it.

1. We went to the Biltmore. The estate was amazing. Sadly, it became apparent that I have not grown out of my frustration over museum crowds or my very low tolerance for people running into me because they aren't paying attention to their surroundings. Yes, hello, I’m standing here. One of the coolest parts of the tour was the bathing suits that women would have worn back in 1900. Oh my gosh, can you imagine!?

2. The next morning, the hotel’s breakfast buffet was first on the agenda. Scrambled eggs were calling my name. Come breakfast time, we moseyed downstairs and, gasp!, there were only three tiny morsels left of what was once scrambled eggs. So I waited (and pouted) and finally they brought more eggs out. A horde of people ran up to the buffet for these eggs. So I waited my turn (mostly because I hate crowds, see #1)… and when the mob cleared I walked up to find the scrambled eggs completely gone. SERIOUSLY?! I almost had to knock some kids and grandmas out of the way to be first in line for the next batch (just kidding, I would have graciously let them go first). Ahhh, scrambled eggs. 

3. We stumbled upon an awesome farmer’s market where we were forced to try Amish Peanut Butter. I swear I didn’t want to, but they made me. I can’t even explain to you how good it is. I now have a jar in my fridge. Oh fluffernut, now I want some… 

4. A group of boys picked on me for walking around downtown with a camera. Really? I’m almost 30. Aren’t I too old to be made fun of by boys? I thought that ended when I graduated from middle school, or maybe high school. Not cool. 

5. We had the most amazing tapas lunch ever at Curate. No lie. Chorizo sausages wrapped in potato chips, three meat cannelloni with b├ęchamel and Gruyere melted on top, and almond sponge cake with rosemary ice cream. OH my gawd I need to be eating that right now. Say hello to my new project. 

6. We watched my team, Syracuse, and Wichita State (Dad’s alma mater) kick some butt in basketball. Hello Final Four!

7. We had fabulous Thai food for dinner – and then again in bed, two hours later. 

8. Oh, and I beat Mike in arcade basketball, by 4 glorious points. Wuh-bam!

Then we came home to reality, and made barbecued brisket for dinner with this amazingly flavorful garlic potato gratin.

Printable recipe HERE

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled, and thinly sliced
½ cup dry white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh sage, chopped
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, stem removed, leaves chopped
¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
4 medium russet potatoes, cleaned, and sliced ~1/4” thick
1 ¾ cup low sodium chicken stock
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onions and cook for about 3 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook another 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions and garlic have started to caramelize. Add the white wine and cook until the wine is mostly absorbed, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, combine the parsley, sage, rosemary, and bread crumbs in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine.

Spread the onion and garlic mixture out evenly in the skillet. Arrange about 1/3 of the potatoes in a single layer on top of the onions and garlic. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the bread crumb mixture evenly on top of the potatoes. Repeat with 2 more layers, until all of the potatoes are used, reserving 2 tablespoons of the bread crumb mixture.

Pour the chicken stock over the potatoes and cover the skillet. Bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove the cover, sprinkle the final layer of bread crumb mixture on top of the potatoes and then sprinkle the cayenne pepper evenly on top. Drizzle the last tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Place the skillet in the oven, uncovered, and cook for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are cooked through.