I’ve made Potatoes Gratin on many occasions – it’s simple and easy. I decided to put a unique twist to the traditional Potatoes Gratin when I created this Smokey Cheese Basil Baked Potatoes. The star ingredient in this recipe is the Smoked Applewood Gruyere Cheese (available in my local grocery store). It’s an exotic combination and genius way to get a smokey flavor. I’ve finally perfected the flavor and, oh yes, the cooking time. That is what recipe development and testing to perfection is all about. Because I am a slow cooking kind-a-gal, my genius imagination told me to slow cook the potatoes – I settled on baking it at 350 degree the first time I made the recipe and on top of that, I covered it thinking the natural steam will soften the texture quickly. The darn thing took forever – one and a half hour later it still had not developed the right amount of tenderness; the flavor though was incredibly delicious.
Fast forward to this version of the same recipe – home run! The 425 degree temperature was perfect; the right amount of crispy and brown top coupled with the ideal tenderness. The smokey gruyere cheese married with the mild cheddar takes your taste buds to a place it’s never been before! It’s the perfect side dish – serve it with chicken, steaks or whatever your heart desire. Enjoy!
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Smokey Cheese Basil Baked Potatoes
An excellent smokey cheese baked potato side dish.
- 2 large Idaho potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for greasing the baking dish and for drizzling on top of the cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups freshly shredded mild cheddar cheese
- 1-1/2 cups freshly shredded Applewood Smoked Gruyere Cheese
- 16 -20 large fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Grease a 4 quart baking or casserole dish with olive oil.
Add the sliced potatoes to a medium bowl. Season with the olive oil, salt and black pepper.
In a bowl, add the cheddar and gruyere cheese. Mix together.
Spread a layer of potatoes in the greased baking dish – overlap them slightly. Sprinkle with half of the cheese mixture. Spread the basil leaves on the cheese. Repeat the process ending with the cheese (no basil on the second layer)
Note: You should have two layers of potatoes and cheese and one layer of basil. You can also chiffonade or chop the basil.
Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of the final layer of cheeses and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour uncovered.
Note: Check 35 minutes into the baking and if the cheeses are getting too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Remove from the oven. Plate and serve with your favorite entree. Enjoy!
Please note – I only use freshly grated or shredded cheeses. This way you know how fresh it is and also the cheeses are moist this way. I find that store bought shredded or grated cheeses are way too dry. It only takes a few minutes and a good hand held cheese grater.