purple potato gratin with fennel, mushrooms & goat cheese

goat cheesepurple potato gratin with fennel mushrooms goat cheesepurple potato gratin with fennel mushrooms goat cheeseHoly smoked gouda!  The fridge and cabinets are packed to the max and in desperate need of clearing out.  I swear I’m trying to be less wasteful these days by cooking more and throwing out less, but I still end up tossing too much of good stuff gone bad.  Not ideal. Shoot, it’s time for a pantry raid!

So today, I rummaged through bags, boxes and bins to see what could be saved.  I pulled out four purple potatoes, a bulb of fennel, a half a basket of mushrooms and some goat cheese.  I could make a decent gratin out of this stuff, so that’s what I did!  Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Olive oil
A pat of butter
Half an onion, thinly sliced
Half a basket of mushrooms, thinly sliced
Small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Fronds from fennel bulb
Celery seeds (or fennel seeds, chopped)
A clove of garlic, minced
Big spoonful of flour
A cup or more of milk (or half & half)
4 purple potatoes, thinly sliced
4 oz of goat cheese, crumbled
½ cup of grated parmesan
Salt & Pepper
Sauté onion, mushrooms & fennel in butter with a little olive oil.  Add garlic & celery seeds.  Add flour and slowly stir in milk.  Add 3 ounces of goat cheese and half of the parmesan cheese.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, toss potatoes with onion-mushroom-fennel mixture.  Pour into a 8 or 9 inch pan, or a cast iron skillet (which I prefer).  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. 
Remove foil, top with the remaining goat cheese and parmesan.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Cook for another 10 minutes.  Let gratin cool for 15 minutes.  Finish with fennel fronds.
Serves at least 2.
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