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Potato, Apple & Cheddar Gratin with Fried Sage
Makes 6 to 8 Servings
*1 tsp. + 1/2 tbls. butter
*1/2 tbls. olive oil
*1 medium onion, finely chopped
*4 lbs. russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
*Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
*1 tbls. unsalted butter
*2 apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
*1 cup half 'n half
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*1 cup freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
*1 cup vegetable oil or olive oil for frying
*10-12 fresh dry sage leaves
1Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Grease a 2 1/2 quart oval baking dish or gratin pan with 1 teaspoon butter.
2Melt remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter together with olive oil, add onion and cook until softened. Layer potatoes and onion in the prepared baking dish, finishing with a layer of potatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
3Melt unsalted butter in a pan. Add apple slices and toss to coat. Arrange the apple slices on top of the potatoes, overlapping each slice slightly.
4Combine half 'n half and heavy cream and pour over the apples and potatoes. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 hour until potatoes are tender.
5To prepare the fried sage, heat oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Working with 1 leaf at a time, drop in each sage leaf and fry 5-7 seconds; do not let the leaves turn brown. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to remove the leaves and place on paper towels to dry. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
6Remove potatoes from oven and top with Cheddar cheese. Just before serving, place under a broiler for 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned. Top with fried sage leaves and serve.