In the Kitchen: Potato and Turnip Gratin

(WTNH)– Creator/Host/Executive Producer Carole Murko from Heirloom Meals talks about Potato and Turnip Gratin, a perfect fall side dish and a treasured family recipe.

Heirloom Meals is a storytelling platform created to share people’s palpable emotional connection to their family food memories, recipes and tips. To savor yesterdays traditions today. Murko has a weekly radio show on a local NPR station and podcast where she interviews someone each week to discuss who they are and how their food and heritage define them. She always ask what is their best food memory from growing up or what is the food that equals home to you? She aslo has 2 PBS specials – Heirloom Meals Thanksgiving and Heirloom Meals Christmas that will re-air this November and December and they are currently fundraising to go to series. They are in in the planning stages to offer a series of cooking classes and weekend retreats.

Heirloom Meals Potato and Turnip Gratin Recipe:
Carole Murko of Heirloom Meals
Just one bite takes me right back to my childhood table. But my memories drift to the making of this dish – I still see my nana’s hands and her dexterous knife skllls. She could slice potatoes and turnips thinner than anyone I know. I, of course, have chosen to use a mandolin and sometimes feel I am cheating – sorry nana!!
This is a wonderfully simple dish and an excellent accompaniment to a roasted chicken, a braise, meatloaf and even an Easter ham. This was really peasant food—meant to be hearty and filling.  It is really yummy and tastes great reheated.
5 – 6 large russet potatoes
5 – 6 turnips
 (I recommend hakurai Japanese turnips for their mild flavor!)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half and half
4 – 5 shallots (diced)
4 – 5 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 T thyme (minced)
3 – 4 sprigs of thyme for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Peel both the potatoes and turnips.  Slice them 1/4” thick with a knife (but a mandoline works wonders!) Heat the cream, half and half, minced garlic, shallots and thyme in a saucepan on low until it comes to a gentle boil. Meanwhile, in a 9 X 13 baking dish, layer the turnips and potatoes, alternating them as you go.  Pour the cream mixture over the top and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

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