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Herbal Essence

DEAR SOS: We recently attended a dinner catered by the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, where a simply wonderful herb potato gratin was served. Any chance of getting that recipe?

NYNA

DEAR NYNA: It’s a lovely dish to serve with a roast or as a hot buffet item with other dishes.

FOUR SEASONS BILTMORE HERB POTATO GRATIN

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HERB MIXTURE

1 sprig thyme, leaves only

4 chives

2 large basil leaves

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1 sprig oregano, leaves only

2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves only

POTATOES

2 tablespoons butter

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1 onion, cut in strips

1 clove garlic, minced

4 to 5 large baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 pint heavy whipping cream

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1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Pinch nutmeg

Coarse salt

Freshly ground black pepper

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HERB MIXTURE

* Combine thyme, chives, basil, oregano and parsley and chop.

POTATOES

* Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium to high heat. Add onion and saute, stirring with wooden spoon, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and potatoes and saute until potatoes soften slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cream and cook until mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook until mixture is thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/8 cup Gruyere, Herb Mixture, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

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* Spoon into 12-inch pie plate, packing tightly and evenly. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted in center penetrates smoothly, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until top is browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes.

8 servings. Each serving: 330 calories; 116 mg sodium; 98 mg cholesterol; 28 grams fat; 17 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 0.41 gram fiber.


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