Perfect potatoes for a special occasion - Smashed Potato Gratin

 Beef Tenderloin with Mustard Brown Sugar Glaze
Smashed Potato Gratin
Steamed Asparagus

     Perfect menu for a special occasion. My sister, Marla Newell Payne, made this for Christmas Eve and it was fantastic. We started with a festive green salad and my mom's delicious homemade rolls and then ended the meal with mom's yummy pecan pie.
    Of course, you table was perfect too -- set with heirloom china and silver . . . it was a magical Christmas Eve dinner.

     Will begin with the recipe Marla used for the potatoes (she found it on the internet, courtesy of Anne Burrell) and will follow-up in the next couple of day with the one for beef tenderloin.

Smashed Potato Gratin   6 servings
Prep Time: 25 min / Cook Time: 35 min

3 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Kosher salt
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 bunch chives

1.  Cut the potatoes into quarters and place in a large saucepan with the garlic cloves. Fill the pot with water and season generously with salt. Taste the water, it should taste salty. Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat and cook the potatoes until they are fork tender. (A fork, not a knife should slide in and out easily.)
2.  Preheat the oven to 350°.
3.  When the potatoes are tender, drain the water from them and return the potatoes and garlic to the pan. Add the milk and sour cream. Using a potato masher or big spoon, gently mash the potatoes. Stir in the Cheddar, then taste and season with salt, if needed. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Combine the panko, grated Parmesan and the cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle it over the top of the potato mixture and bake until hot all the way through and is crispy and brown on top, about 20 minutes.
4.  Remove from the oven, garnish with chopped chives and serve.

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