I have a serious weakness for mashed potatoes of all kinds. I’ve been known to double the amount of garlic called for in new recipes, just to be on the safe side. I can’t grate Gruyère without more than a few pinches winding up in my mouth. And horseradish? Love the stuff.
This recipe? Combines all of those. It is evil-deliciousness incarnate, the opposite of all things healthy. Creamy, cheesy, just-salty-enough potatoes, with the slight bite of garlic, fresh black pepper, and horseradish. Don’t be deterred by the photo; as posited by Deb at Smitten Kitchen, ugly food is often the tastiest.
We polished off the full pan in less than two days.
Aligot Gratin with Horseradish Cream
2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes (6 medium)
4 garlic cloves
1¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup whole milk
¾ lb Cantal or Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated on large holes of a box grater (5 cups)
½ teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons drained bottled horseradish
Special Equipment: a potato ricer or a food mill fitted with medium disk; 1 (2-qt) ceramic or metal shallow baking dish or 6 (1-cup) shallow gratin dishes
1. Cover potatoes with salted water by 2 inches in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot and simmer until very tender, about 40 minutes. Drain in a colander.
2. Mince garlic and mash to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt using side of a large heavy knife.
3. When potatoes are cool enough to handle when held in a kitchen towel, peel and force through ricer into a cleaned saucepan. Add butter, garlic paste, and milk and cook over moderately low heat, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until fluffy and heated through, about 2 minutes. Add cheese and pepper and cook, stirring vigorously with a heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until cheese is melted, smooth, and almost taffylike, about 10 minutes.
4. Preheat broiler. Butter baking dish. (If using 6 individual gratin dishes, butter and put on a baking sheet.)
5. Transfer potato mixture to baking dish, smoothing top.
6. Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks, then beat in horseradish and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Spread horseradish cream over potato mixture and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat, rotating gratin if it isn’t browning evenly, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.