November 17th was National Homemade Bread Day, and to celebrate, we’re sharing one of our favorite breadcrumb-garnished recipes from Allen Dikker’s The Potatopia Cookbook. This collection of more than 75 mouthwatering potato recipes features familiar traditions and new creations from the CEO and founder of the Potatopia restaurants. As you bake your homemade loaves today, be sure to save a few to crumble on top of this delicious recipe.
Layered Mashed Potato and Truffled Mushroom Casserole
This robust casserole is an homage to my father, who is a chef by trade and makes one of the best mushroom sauces I’ve ever tasted. When we gather for family meals, more often than not he serves mashed potatoes. We make a well in the center, spoon the mushroom sauce into it, and dig in. This casserole, which easily feeds a big family, uses all the same flavors. By the way, this mushroom sauce is my own; my father has never shared his recipe!
6 medium russet potatoes, peeled, rinsed, and quartered
½ cup light cream or half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
¼ (18- to 20-inch) fresh baguette, torn into several pieces
¼ cup shredded Pecorino Romano
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1¼ pounds baby portabella (cremini) mushrooms, trimmed and minced (about 6 cups)
¼ cup dry red wine
¼ cup light cream or half-and-half
6 ounces Gruyère, shredded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Black truffle oil, for garnish
Chopped scallions or fresh chives, for garnish
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled, for garnish (optional)
1. For the potatoes: Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough cold salted
water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to
medium and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until a sharp knife easily pierces the
potatoes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan, o. the heat. Using a
potato masher, mash the potatoes while they are still hot. (Alternatively, you can put
them through a ricer.)
2. In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat. Stir until it starts to steam and
small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour the hot cream over the potatoes
and stir to mix. Add the salt and stir until well blended. Set the potatoes aside to
cool to room temperature.
3. For the breadcrumbs: While the potatoes cool, put the baguette pieces in the bowl
of a food processor and pulse a few times to make coarse crumbs. Add the Pecorino
Romano and pulse to make fi ne breadcrumbs.
4. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
5. For the mushroom sauce: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until
it shimmers. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue
cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion softens. Add the mushrooms and sauté
for 5 more minutes, or until the mushrooms soften and release their liquid.
6. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture has
slightly reduced. Add the cream and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until
the cream starts to form small bubbles. Stir in the Gruyère and cook until the cheese
and mushrooms are well mixed and the cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper.
7. To assemble: Evenly spread half of the potatoes in a 12-inch oval baking dish. Top the
potatoes with half of the mushroom sauce. Repeat this process with the remaining
potatoes and mushroom sauce. Top with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake for 8 to 10
minutes, until heated through.
8. Remove the casserole from the oven and preheat the broiler. Broil the casserole 3 to
4 inches from the heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned.
9. Drizzle the casserole with truffle oil and garnish with chopped scallions. Top with the
crumbled bacon, if desired, and serve immediately.