Potatoes Au Gratin with Crème Fraiche and Chanterelles

Serves 6
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped Chanterelles or other wild mushrooms (fresh mushrooms are ideal, or .75 ounces dried chanterelle reconstituted in hot water for 10 minutes) 
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Diamond Kosher Salt 
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy cream 
  • ½ cup crème fraiche 
  • 3 fresh or dried bay leaves, divided 
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  • 2.25 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1cup grated gruyere 
  • Flake salt 
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  
  2. Toss chopped wild mushrooms with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes, or until tender and golden. Taste for seasoning, adding additional salt as desired. Toss out thyme sprigs. Note: if you are using dried chanterelles, reconstitute in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain, coarsely chopped and season with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. 
  3. In the meantime, warm cream, crème fraiche, and 1 bay leaf in a small saucepan over medium heat. Warm until nearly simmering – stir to combine ingredients, then take saucepan from the flame. Discard bay leaf. 
  4. Butter a well-seasoned 12-inch cast iron skillet or baking dish – arrange 1 slightly overlapping shingled layer of potato slices at the bottom of the pan. After each layer of potatoes, season with a slosh of the warm creamy mixture, a very generous seasoning of salt and black pepper, and a scattering of mushrooms. You should end up with 3 layers of potatoes - we’d suggest not layering mushrooms on top of your final potato layer – they’re tasty but not as pretty as the potatoes. Nestle 2 remaining bay leaves into your top layer and top with Gruyere.  
  5. Cover skillet or baking dish with foil. Place skillet/baking dish on middle rack of hot oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes. 
  6. Let dish rest for 30 minutes before serving. Season with additional black pepper at serving time, and flake salt as desired.