Holiday Day Good Eats: PIMENTO CHEESE POTATO GRATIN

I think I found my new favorite cheesy potato recipe…PIMENTO CHEESE POTATO GRATIN

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6 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
3 pounds (6 large) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1⁄4-inch thick rounds
Pint and 1/2 heavy cream
3 large or 6 small shallots, finely diced (scant 1 cup)
1⁄2 tsp crushed dried red chile flakes
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (4oz.) jar pimentos, with their liquid
24 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (3 cups)

Heat the oven to 375°F, with racks positioned in the middle and the top third of the oven. (If freezing skip this step)

In a 3- to 4-quart stockpot, bring 2 quarts water and 2 teaspoons of the salt to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Then drain, and set them aside.

Combine the cream, shallots, chile flakes, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the jar of roasted peppers in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chile flakes have begun to stain the cream, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the cheese and stir until it melts, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.

Layer roughly a third of the potatoes in a 6-cup baking dish, overlapping them slightly so that they fit in an even layer. Scatter half of the roasted peppers on top of the potatoes (cut up any peppers that have remained whole so that they lie flat), and repeat layering potatoes and peppers until all the peppers and potatoes have been used. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes and peppers, and agitate the dish to distribute the liquid throughout.

Cover with aluminum foil (If freezing cool and then freeze at this point).

(If frozen thaw!)

Bake on the middle rack for 15 – 20 minutes. Uncover the dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, and place the dish on the top oven rack.

Bake for 8 – 12 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and gently browned on top. Serve immediately.

Happy Easter Everyone!

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