Traverse City Record-Eagle


November 15, 2010

Local food makes quintessential Thanksgiving




Darren Hawley, chef at Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, said this recipe for scalloped potatoes is a family favorite and works great for serving buffet style or potluck.

"It can be made ahead, which is crucial for the overworked Thanksgiving chef," he said.

He uses potatoes from Bardenhagen Farms in Leelanau County, light cream from the Cream Cup Dairy in Kaleva, garlic from Ware Ham Family Farms, thyme from his own herb garden and cheese from Grassfield's Edam Cheese in Coopersville.

Dauphinois Potato Gratin

3 lbs. potatoes, peeled

1 quart light cream

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2 t. salt

½ t. pepper

⅛ t. nutmeg

1 T. fresh thyme (or substitute 1 t. dried)

1 c. Edam cheese, grated or sliced

Preheat the oven to 400°. Using a mandoline, food processor or simply a sharp French knife, slice the potatoes into 1/16th-inch thick slices. Add the potatoes to the half and half with the garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil then immediately transfer to a buttered 3-quart gratin dish. Sprinkle with grated Gruyere and bake until potatoes are tender and top is nicely browned, 40-50 minutes. Allow the gratin to rest at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before serving.

Note: If preparing the gratin ahead of time, follow the recipe then allow the gratin to cool completely, cover and refrigerate. Allow the gratin to come up to room temperature, then reheat in the oven covered with two layers of plastic wrap and a layer of tinfoil at 325° until hot.

-- Darren Hawley, Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa,


Joseph George, the executive chef at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, uses all sorts of local produce in this next dish. Pumpkin puree is simply roasted pumpkin scooped out of the shell and pureed in a food processor or blender; make sure to squeeze out any extra water after pureeing. If using canned, looked for pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling).

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