Potatoes Au Gratin

homemade barbecue sauce for ribs

3 ½ to 4 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ -inch thick
12 oz. Gruyere Cheese ( other cheeses may be substituted)
½ large onion, thinly sliced and sautéed in butter until tender but not brown
1 pt. (2 cups) whipping cream (sometime more is needed)
Salt and pepper
Enough softened butter, to butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.

Put sliced potatoes in large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a full boil, stir to make sure slices are separated and cook at a good boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Potatoes will be about half cooked at this point. This boiling step will keep the starch in the potatoes from turning black. Drain in colander, let cool a few minutes, but do keep working with hot potatoes.

Put half the potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Evenly layer the onions on top. Sprinkle with half the grated cheese. Put remaining potatoes on top of cheese, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper again. Pour the whipping cream over potatoes. (The level of the top of the potatoes must be below the top edge of the baking dish. The whipping cream should come half way up the side of the baking dish.)

Bake in the middle of a preheated 400 -degree oven 30 minutes. The cream should be completely bubbling around the edges of the pan at this point if not leave a little longer. Evenly sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and return to oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Potatoes are done when the cheese has golden dots sprinkled over the surface and the cream is bubbly in the middle. Potatoes in the center of the dish should be fork tender at this point. If potatoes are not tender and the dish is browning too fast tent with aluminum foil.

Using same proportion of ingredients try adding 1, 4 oz. can of diced green chilies including the juice in the can with the onion layer and using cheddar cheese instead of the Swiss cheese. (Or a cheddar and jack combination)

Using same proportion of ingredients try adding sliced mushrooms that have been sautéed with minced garlic, with the onion layer and using 10 oz. Danish Fontina cheese and a little extra parmesan cheese.

Using same proportion of ingredients try adding 1, 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes, well drained, 3 to 4 T. pesto, and 1 t. minced garlic with the onion layer and any cheese

My latest favorite is using same proportion of ingredients, add 2 roasted, skinned and seeded jalapeno peppers (diced) to the onion layer and use 12 oz. extra sharp grated white cheddar.