This really is a fancy name for comfort food. Potatoes, cream and cheese - this didn't hang around long. Fennel makes it a little more interesting and I think it's essential to use fresh herbs. I used sage - but whatever your favorite fresh herb is, would work wonderfully.
Scalloped Potato and Fennel Gratin
6 large potatoes, peeled and VERY finely sliced (if you have a mandoline slicer this is the time to use it)
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
3 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tablespoon very finely chopped sage leaves
Salt and pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Gruyere cheese (grated)
Heat the oven to 375F
Heat the butter in a large sauté pan. Gently sauté the onion and fennel for 5 minutes, sprinkle lightly with salt to stop them burning. Add the minced garlic and sage, continue to cook for a further 5 minutes until soft.
Mix the cream, a sprinkle of black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
Pour a tablespoon of cream into the bottom of an ovenproof dish.
Place a layer of the potato mixture into the dish and pour a couple of spoonful of the cream mixture over the top. Sprinkle over some gruyere.
Continue layering the potato mixture and gruyere. Place on a baking sheet and put into the oven for approx 50 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and the cheese is brown and bubbling.