For the uninitiated, that stands for "What Would the Barefoot Contessa Do?", and unless you're a Gilmore Girls junkie like me and Mama Payne, you absolutely will not understand that, so no need to be concerned.
But in case you DO want to know what the Barefoot Contessa does, I'll tell you. She comes up with recipes like this that my mother (and subsequently I) make. Yes, get ready to drool...it's the potato-fennel gratin we made for Thanksgiving. I love it because the fennel adds a kick to it to keep it from becoming too overwhelmingly cheesy and bland.
If you're ever asking yourself WWTPWD (what would the Payne women do?), you now have your answer. If you're looking for a recipe for your next holiday meal, or even just for, you know, Wednesday or something, check it out below.
TBFC Potato-Fennel Gratin
2 small fennel bulbs
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 large russet potatoes
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Butter the inside of a 10 x 15 x 2 baking dish (we used glass).
Remove stalks from fennel and cut bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the cores and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise.
Saute the fennel and the onion in olive oil and butter on medium-low for 15 minutes until tender.
Peel potatoes, then thinly slice (we used a mandolin).
Mix sliced potatoes in a large bowl with 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyere, salt and pepper. Add the sauteed fennel and onion and mix well.
Pour the mixture into the buttered baking dish. Smooth down the potatoes.
Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 1/2 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on the top.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly.
Allow to set for 10 minutes, then serve.
Happy holidays to you and yours!