It really doesn't get much lazier than this. The result of your laziness? Super cheesy and creamy potatoes au gratin, homemade!
You get bragging rights with this one? Yeah, I made it from SCRATCH.
I had a huge potato that was on the verge of becoming a potato plant on my counter. I figured, before it started sending out roots and leaves, I should probably use it. There are many things worse, but the guilt of having to throw away produce because you didn't use it fast enough is quite heavy on us lazy people's minds. It is just a discomfort we don't need.
- One large potato (or 3 mid-sized or 4 small potatoes)
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1 cup of shredded cheese (your choice, but I used a pre-shredded bag of Mexican mix I had in the fridge)
- 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese (or parmesan/romano mix)
- 1/8 cup butter
- salt and pepper if you want (I didn't, I figured we could add to taste once it was on our plates)
I used a small casserole dish (5x7ish?) for this. You will really want a hand slicer, if you don't then this is a bit of a pain to thinly slice the potato by hand. Then hand slicer is a must have in any lazy cook's kitchen. (Check out the shopping list for other lazy essentials.)
Using the hand slicer, slice half the potato directly into the baking dish. I alternated between the thinnest and second thinnest slice settings. Once you have half in the dish, push them around a bit to even them out in the dish.
Add the water and half the milk over the potatoes.
Slice half the butte and place each slice somewhat evenly - don't get full coverage but a thin slice of butter every here and here is good.
Sprinkle a couple shakes of parmesan evenly, and then add 1/4 of the cheese evenly spread.
Hand slice the rest of the potato on top of all this. Add the rest of the milk. Add the rest of the cheese (evenly) and sprinkle the rest of the parmesan over it all.
Cover with tin foil, this allows you to put it into the oven and forget about it for a while without worrying if it is going to burn or not. If you don't use the tin-foil, the top cheese will brown, crisp and burn before the potatoes are soft enough to be done.
I stuck it into the oven at 325. I didn't bother to preheat, I didn't even know I was going to make this until it was half done.
It will start smelling good shortly after it is in. Push past the urge to take it out at this point, it is still too liquid at this point. You want to let it cook slowly, and let the potatoes soak up as much of the liquid as possible. Remember, you were lazy making this, so you didn't use flour as a thickener.
After about a half an hour to 45 minutes, it will be ready. Take the foil off and continue to cook for about 5 minutes to let the top brown a bit.
Take it out and let it sit and cool for about 5 minutes. This is allow for further thickening and keep you from scorching your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
It may not be as pretty as you get from Betty Crocker, but it is damn tasty.