Artichoke, Potato, and Cheese Casserole
Makes 12 servings
This dish is a little different�think of it as potatoes au gratin with artichokes added. It's hearty, rich, and very satisfying.
Find this recipe and more in Chef Paul Prudhomme's Fiery Foods That I Love.
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Chef Paul Prudhomme�s Vegetable Magic� or
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried California beauty chile peppers
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
4 large artichokes
2 large potatoes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons finely diced fresh serrano chile peppers
1/4 cup tamari
2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
how to prepare
Combine the first six ingredients in a small bowl to make the seasoning mix.
Place a large pot half filled with water over high heat. Add the artichokes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer just until the artichokes are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pot, reserving the cooking water, and allow them to cool. The best way to do this is to turn them upside down on your drainboard-all the excess water will drain out and they'll cool quickly.
Boil the potatoes in the water in which the artichokes were cooked just until they're tender, about 35 to 40 minutes, reserving 1 cup of the water (or if most of the cooking water has evaporated, add enough water to measure 1 cup). Peel the potatoes and dice enough into ½-inch cubes to measure 1 cup firmly packed; slice the remainder into ½-inch-thick rounds. Set aside.
If you're like me, you may be tempted to eat all the artichokes yourself right now, but resist! Inside every leaf there's a small amount of pulp-the good part. To get it out, with your thumb on the back of a teaspoon, scrape the pulp off the inside of the leaf. Always scrape away from yourself. Discard the scraped leaves and reserve the pulp. Scrape out and discard the choke, the fuzzy section underneath all the little leaves, and be sure to get it all. Peel the stems and dice the stems and hearts into bite-sized pieces. Arrange the artichoke stems, hearts, and pulp and the potato slices in a 9 x 13-inch casserole, alternating layers of potato and artichoke. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Melt the butter in a 3-quart pot over high heat. When the butter sizzles, add the onions, ginger, serrano peppers, and the seasoning mix. Stir and cook, and when the onions begin to brown, about 6 minutes, add the diced potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium if necessary to prevent burning. Cook, stirring and mashing the potatoes constantly, until the mixture becomes thick, fairly dry and brown, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved cooking water and cook, continuing to stir, for 6 minutes. Add the tamari and cook for 5 minutes, stirring vigorously and mashing the potatoes until they disintegrate. The mixture should be a rich brown color. Stir in the heavy cream, bring to a boil, then add the mozzarella cheese. Stir and remove from the heat. Pour this sauce over the artichokes and potatoes in the casserole and top with the Cheddar cheese. Bake until the cheese is a beautiful golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.
Copyright© 1995 by Paul Prudhomme