Caramelized onions. Where have these been all my life? I have always hated onions – not the flavor they give to a dish, but eating them. It must be a texture thing, but all my life I’ve been avoiding eating onions. I never even bought onions that much. Until now. I decided that caramelized onions would be good in a sauce I made a few weeks ago, and that was the end of it. Who knew a couple of onions, slowly cooked in butter until they are golden brown, could be so daggone GOOD? A friend (hi Heather!) gave me the idea of putting them on pizza too – bye bye boring pepperoni for me! Hello prosciutto & caramelized onion!
Ok, enough about the onions. The recipe I have to share with you guys today is simple, but a quick side dish that is very adaptable. I made these Mini Potato Gratins the other night along with roast chicken, sauteed fresh green beans, and of course, caramelized onions. Why not make just one big gratin? First of all, these cook way faster. Second, you can make totally different gratins all in one muffin pan. Which is great, if one of you wants to put capers in them, and the other won’t even come in the kitchen while you have capers in plain sight.
[Side note: capers are sort of like tiny, brined olives. I have no clue why I like them & Luke doesn’t, since I hate olives and he loves them. They’re very good as an accent to a dish but I don’t like them whole, they kind of pop when you bite into them, and I find that disgusting. So I chop them.]
I made 9 mini gratins in a muffin pan, and that was more than enough for 2 people. For three or four, just fill the whole muffin pan. Another thing you can change up is the cheese – I used sharp cheddar, but plan on making these with Parmesan, Asiago, really just about any kind of cheese would work!
Mini Potato Gratins
3-6 small potatoes (I used red potatoes, new or gold potatoes would be fine too), thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
About 1 cup shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar, but almost anything would be good)
About 1 to 3 teaspoons of capers, finely chopped (optional)
Grease a muffin tin with butter and put a slice of potato in each cup. Add a sprinkle of cheese, a little bit of garlic, and capers, if desired. Continue layering until the muffin cups are filled. Top with a sprinkle of cheese and pour about 1 to 2 teaspoons of cream over each stack of potatoes, letting it drip down into the cups. Bake at 350 F (or whatever you have your oven set to, I had mine at 375) for around 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese is crispy on top and potatoes are fork tender. Run a knife around each muffin cup to release them and serve.