Alright, so I tried my hand out at making a classic potato gratin casserole....here is what I did with the following horrid results...any suggestions much appreciated for this dad-turned-family-chef:
Got a Corningware 5 qt casserole dish (fluted exterior) with the glass lid. Buttered the whole inside and salted it. Mandolin sliced about 5 medium Idaho russet potatoes to about 2 mm thick and set aside. Prepared mix of cheeses: romano, parmesan, cheddar and seasoned with pepper, salt, and thyme, and set aside. Simmered about 1 quart of half and half with nutmeg, thyme, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf for about 20 minutes. Took the potato slices and put one layer in, then covered with the cheese mix. Repeated until about 3/4ths of the way up the side of the casserole dish. Topped everything with the simmered and spiced half & half mixture. Covered, baked at 350 F for 1 hour, then uncovered and baked another 30 minutes.
Results: Although the top had the beginnings of a decent browned crust, the pototaes were still al dente all the way through. The liquid was gone and the cheese had curdled up. It tasted good which tells me the seasoning mix was on point...just had some problems with the potatoes, curdled cheese, and maybe not enough liquid?
Again all, thanks for your input.......I love to cook and am enthusiastic about improving!!!!