Delmonico Potatoes

For our time with Sonia, Sabrina and Bethany, Susanne and I made this dish. What a great discovery! We figured out what gives Stove Top Stuffing that wonderful sweet, meaty taste!! It's the savory*! And yes, it really is a plant called savory. I'm not just being weird saying it in a strange accent: "it IS the savory, yah?"...(although that is how I say it too...)
1 3/4 lb. about 4 White Rose Potatoes (or any waxy type. We used russet and it was OK)
2 C firmly packed coarsely shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 C heavy cream
3 T unsalted butter
1 1/2 T flour
3/4 t dry mustard
1/8 t ground cloves
pinch of cayenne
1 C milk
1 large shallot, minced (or 1 medium onion, diced & 4 cloves of garlic, minced)
1 t dried savory
2 C fresh sourdough bread crumbs (we used a half loaf of stale french bread)
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the unpeeled potatoes (cut into large quarters) until just tender when pierced with a small knife, about 25 minutes. Don't overcook! It will continue to cook in the oven later.

Drain and cut the potatoes into a small dice. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper and add 1 C of cheese and 1/2 C of cream. Mix well, gently and spread into a baking dish.

In a small, heavy saucepan, melt 1 T butter over medium, low heat. Whisk in the flour, dry mustard, cloves and cayenne. Cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and remaining cream. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to boil, whisking constantly until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 C of cheese, 3/4 t salt, 1/4 t black pepper and whisk until the cheese melts. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and stir to blend.

In a frying pan, melt the remaining 2 T butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and summer savory and saute until the shallot softens about 3 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and stir until they are crisp and golden about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in remaining 1/2 C cheese and 1/4 t black pepper.

Bake the potatoes until sauce is bubbling thickly and the potatoes are heated through, 30 minutes. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and then continue to bake until topping is crisp and cheese is melted. 10 minutes longer.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*Savory...and MSG. But that's no surprise. 

Serves 6, from Williams Sonoma's Potatoes

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