Friday, March 9, 2012

Radiator Potatoes

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Radiator potatoes

This fun dish got it's name from a favorite local restaurant, The Red House.  They carry a huge selection of wines and beers from around the world that are for sale in addition to serving up some great food.  Their menu is constantly changing and at one point they used to do a full meal that had a side in it called radiator potatoes.  It was served with a chicken kabob and it was all very delicious.  Their menu has moved on from that meal but it was something I loved so I was inspired to recreate the dish at home.

These potatoes are stacked high with the thinnest layers that are just held together with a bit of milk, egg and cheese.  The oregano or marjoram that you add, along with a dollop of hearty mustard, make this complex and rich so that it could easily be the main course in a meal without having to be just the side dish.  I would eat this happily for brunch or lunch with a salad and let the potatoes be the star.

The key to getting this to come together is very thin slicing and then smashing it all down snug into your baking dish.  I use a mandoline to get the potatoes and onion slices as fine as possible.  When pushing these into a baking dish of my choice I just use my hands and leeeeaaaaan in, giving it all a good push several times until I am sure everything is free of any pockets of air.  Bake until you have a dark golden crust because those crispy bits are the best part.

Radiator Potatoes
Any cheese you want to use in this dish is fine. A flavorful blue, sharp or mild cheddar, or even a tangy feta would work great.
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 Tbs mustard, I prefer stone ground
  • 1 - 2 tsp oregano or marjoram (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb potatoes, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, very thinly sliced

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 (F). Grease the bottom and sides of an 8x8 baking dish, or any dish approximately that size.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the egg, milk, seasonings and cheese.
  3. Add in the sliced potatoes and onion, mixing well.
  4. Pour the entire mixture into your baking dish. Press the potatoes and onion down, getting things as flat as you can. You want to be sure that there are no air bubbles in the layers and that things will cook together tightly enough that you can slice the final dish when it is done.
  5. Bake for 45-90 minutes depending on the thickness of your ingredients and the shape of your baking dish. The dish is not done until a knife tip inserted in the middle meets no resistance. You should have a dark golden top on the potatoes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
  7. Slice into portions to serve, showing off the wonderful layers of goodness.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 - 8 servings