Lewis, my harshest critic, loved this casserole!!! Can we even call the above a casserole? Resisting any food snobbery, we’ll leave it as named, a meal in a baking dish. Until the taste reveal.
The German Butterball potatoes really made this dish. These potatoes were freshly dug at Rosie and Dan’s Swallow Hill Farm. Yukon Gold potatoes, more readily available, would make a superb substitution. The Manchego Mornay Sauce wasn’t too shabby, either. I chose it because I thought the sweet, nutty cheese would counter-balance the bitterness of the radicchio. Mushrooms and roasted potatoes for umami, shallots and vermouth for an air of elegance, parsley and bay for the herbal notes – it all came together beautifully, if I do say so myself. Not your typical simple church supper casserole but worth the effort.
- 12 small potatoes, preferably German butterball or Yukon gold, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 small heads radicchio, quartered
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 6 shallots, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 4 tablespoons dry white vermouth or wine
- 2 cups milk
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 4 ounces Manchego cheese, shredded
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the potatoes and radicchio on the parchment. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables with oil.
- Bake for 30 -40 minutes, until tender and golden brown.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set aside..
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until softened.
- Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes stirring frequently, until the moisture from the mushrooms has cooked down.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the parsley and vermouth and cook for 2 minutes.
- Warm the milk in a small saucepan on medium heat.
- Add the bay leaves and remove from the heat.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat.
- When the butter is bubbling, add the flour and whisk to combine. Keep whisking for 3 to 5 minutes until the butter is beginning to turn golden. This is a roux.
- Remove the bay leaves from the milk and set aside.
- Add the warmed milk to the roux, in a slow stream, whisking briskly to prevent lumps.
- Reserve ¼ cup cheese for the top of the casserole.
- Stir in the cheese, salt and pepper, until the cheese is melted
- Turn oven temperature down to 375 degrees.
- Scatter the potatoes on the bottom of a 6-inch by10-inch casserole dish.
- Layer the radicchio and then the mushrooms on top of the potatoes. Tuck in the bay leaves.
- Slather the Mornay Sauce on top and sprikle the reserved cheese on top.
- Place the casserole on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes, until bubbly and browned.
- Serve hot.
Of course, I know she’ll substitute a much stronger cheese. Just keep it out of the trunk of my car, please (inside joke)!