Spicy Potato Gratin

published Sep 5, 2023
Spicy Potato Gratin Recipe

A classic, creamy potato gratin gets a chili crisp twist.

Serves10 to 12

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Spicy potato gratin
Credit: Photo: Haemi Lee; Food Styling: Pearl Jones; Prop Styling: Gözde Eker

Have you ever tried crispy fries with chili crisp? If not, this is your sign to do that now. And if you have, you know how potatoes, no matter how they are cooked, are the perfect vehicle to enjoy the spicy, dynamic flavors of chili crisp. I take the classic pairing of potatoes and chili crisp a step further in this rich, creamy, and cheesy gratin.

There are three main reasons you should make this for your dinner party. First, the spicy, creamy sauce that binds the potatoes together proves that chili crisp and anything dairy belong together. Heavy cream and milk deliciously harmonize with spicy chili crisp so that both ingredients shine together. I would be happy just to toss cooked pasta in the sauce! Back to potatoes. Second, the stunning visual of stacking sliced potatoes vertically will certainly wow the crowd. Ever since I learned this technique from one of my culinary idols, Claire Saffitz, I’ve never gone back. It’s also oddly satisfying to fill up a casserole with lines of stacked potatoes. And, lastly, this dish doesn’t need to be served hot. It’s even better when it’s slightly cold or at room temperature, in my opinion.

Right after it’s baked, it might look like the sauce is broken because of the residual oil from the chili crisp, but the potatoes soak up that oil after a few minutes. Don’t worry if it looks wrong at first; it will find its beauty after a few minutes of waiting. So, you can make it ahead, forget about it, and show off your potato art in a casserole for a crowd.

Spicy Potato Gratin Recipe

A classic, creamy potato gratin gets a chili crisp twist.

Serves 10 to 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 1

    shallot, finely diced

  • 1 teaspoon

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup

    milk

  • 1 cup

    heavy cream

  • 3 tablespoons

    chili crisp

  • 1/2 cup

    grated Gruyère cheese

  • 1 tablespoon

    chopped thyme leaves

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 pounds

    russet potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed clean

  • 1/4 cup

    grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1

    green onion, chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. In a medium sauté pan or skillet over low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the minced garlic and diced shallot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the flour to the pan to coat the garlic and shallots, and cook the mixture for a minute. Then pour in the milk and heavy cream while whisking to incorporate the garlic and shallots. Season the mixture with the chili crisp, grated Gruyère cheese, chopped thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened but still runny, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

  3. Lightly grease all sides of an 8 by 8-inch baking dish or casserole (6 cup) with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.

  4. Thinly slice the potatoes, about 1/8-inch thick, with the peel on, preferably using a mandoline. If you want, you can peel the potatoes, but keeping the skin on adds a nice texture when cooked. Add a ladleful of the prepared cream sauce to the bottom of the dish. Then, arrange the potato slices vertically in the dish in overlapping rows, followed by a spoonful of sauce to coat the potatoes. Make sure each layer of stacked potatoes is touching the others. The cream sauce will hold the potatoes together, so add generous spoonfuls after each stack. Fill the dish by using smaller pieces of potato to fill in any gaps between stacks.

  5. Pour the remaining chili crisp– cream mixture over the potatoes. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 1 hour, or until all the potato slices are fork-tender.

  6. When the potatoes are all cooked, remove the foil and sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the potatoes. Place it under the broiler, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the top is golden brown. Be sure to keep an eye on the dish to prevent burning.

  7. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with the green onions and serve.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

From Chili Crisp: 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings by James Park, © 2023. Published by Chronicle Books. Photographs © Heami Lee.