Dave's Fennel & Potato Gratin
This one takes awhile to cook, but is the very definition of savory, cheesy comfort food. It's got fennel in it, so it's healthy.
2 large red potatoes
2 medium fennel bulbs
Feta cheese, about 2 ounces
Romano cheese, shredded, about 2 ounces
Butter, about 4 tablespoons
All purpose flour, about 6 tablespoons
Milk, 3-5 cups
Optional: garlic, several whole cloves
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare fennel bulbs. Remove stem and fronds, and cut out tough base. Julienne fennel bulbs.
Slice both potatoes thinly, using a mandolin if you have one.
In a baking pan; layer fennel sparsely, topped with a layer of overlapping potatoes. Spread a tablespoon of feta sparsely over the potatoes. Sprinkle with black pepper.
Repeat step three to build the next layer, but use a tablespoon of Romano in place of the feta.
Repeat steps three and four. After you've built 3 or 4 layers, add 2 tablespoons of butter (at room temperature), spread out in chunks over the layer. If you want garlic, scatter several whole cloves in this middle layer. Then create about 3 more layers until the pan is about 2/3 of the way full.
Mix flour and milk together. Compress layers gently. Add remaining butter to top, and pour milk on top of layers slowly. Take your time and allow it to percolate. Stop when the liquid just covers the layers.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 2 hours. Uncover for the last half hour. Serve hot and enjoy!