Upper Crust Potatoes

3 pounds Idaho potatoes (about 6)

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary leaves

3/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup milk

1/2 paprika

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup dried bread crumbs

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Oil the bottom of a shallow 2 quart baking dish.

2. Peel and very thinly slice the potatoes. Place them in a mixing bowl and add 3/4 cup of the cream. Toss to mix. Set aside.

3. Melt the butter in a skillet, and add the shallots and garlic. Saute over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes; do not brown.

4. Add the bay leaves and rosemary to the skillet. Whisk in the cream cheese, milk, and remaining 3/4 cup cream. Simmer, whisking constantly, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Then add paprika, salt, and pepper. Discard the bay leaves and pour the mixture of the potatoes; toss gently.

5. Arrange potato mixture in a baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle it first with the Parmesan, and then with the bread crumbs.

6. Bake until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown and bubbly, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

From The New Basics Cookbook by Rosso & Lukins

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