I have been making this dish for family gatherings for so long I can hardly remember a time when we didn’t have it, or even where it came from.
It’s become a Christmas tradition that has only grown larger with the years, literally. Some relatives will eat only this instead of the main course, and after inspecting the ingredient list it’s easy to see why.
This is not an everyday dish but it’s simple, hearty and just a bit luxurious. I guess that’s why we named it “upper crust.”
3 pounds yellow gold potatoes
1½ cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 bay leaves
¾ cup cream cheese (8 ounces)
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon paprika
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup dried breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 375°. Oil the bottom only of a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
Peel and very thinly slice potatoes. Place slices in a bowl with ¾ cup of the cream and toss to mix.
Melt butter with shallots and garlic. Sauté over low heat for three or four minutes. Do not brown. Add bay leaves and rosemary to skillet. Whisk in cream cheese, milk and remaining cream.
Simmer, whisking constantly until smooth, two or three minutes. Add paprika, salt and pepper. Discard bay leaves.
Pour this mixture over potatoes and fold in gently.
Arrange potatoes in baking dish, sprinkle with Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Bake until potatoes are tender, approximately 1 to 1¼ hours.
Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
DeeDee Emmett is the Vaughn Postmaster.