Bakeress cooks

This is the meal that i ….the bakeress…made for Christmas to take to our friends home for dinner.

It’s an amazing winter meal…the salad is my all time favorite and really easy to make…

especially if you want to impress someone with your cooking talents……

because if you are anything like me…and don’t experiment very often…you come out on top….

a win win no matter what.

I promise.


I made a potato gratin with mushrooms and Gruyere cheese…and a

salad with a dried cherry and Port dressing.

Feel free to pour yourself a glass or two of Port while you cook.

I’ll show you the Salad first….

I will list all the ingredients at the bottom of the post for you.

Combine cherries and Port in heavy small saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat…

let stand until cherries swell…about 15 minutes.

In a heavy large skillet…saute pancetta over medium-low heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.

(if you are can omit this step with the pancetta…i just forgot to get it when i was

at the market…so my version that i photographed does not have pancetta in it}

Add shallots and garlic…cook 2 minutes. Add oil, vinegar and sugar..stir until sugar dissolves.

Stir in cherry mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Dressing can be made up to 2 hours ahead and then set aside and you can re-warm later.
Combine salad greens and pine nuts in bowl…add goat cheese slices on top…

and add warmed dressing over salad.

Toss to blend.

Next up is the Potato gratin with Gruyere and mushrooms…remember how i told you about the potatoes boiled in

heavy whipping cream….

well…don’t say i didn’t warn you.

It’s worth every single calorie.


Heat 1/4 cup oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks…saute until soft and lightly browned..

10-12 minutes. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper..and saute until soft and liquid evaporates..

7-8 minutes. Add garlic…saute 1 minute.

Set aside.

{This can be made up to 4 hours ahead of time…just set it aside at room temp}
Preheat oven to 375* F. Pat potato slices dry with kitchen towel. Combine cream….

1 tsp salt..and 1/2 tsp pepper in large pot. Add potatoes. Bring to boil…reduce heat to medium and simmer..

covered..about 10 minutes..stirring occasionally.

Remove lid..simmer until cream is reduced by about half and potatoes are partially cooked, stirring often

and keeping an eye on them so the cream does not burn….about 3 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.
Brush 13x9x2 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with oil.

Transfer half of potato mixture to dish…spreading out in an even layer.

Spoon mushroom mixture over the potatoes in an even layer.

Spoon remaining potato mixture over..spreading it in even layer.

Sprinkle cheese over top layer of potatoes….cover with foil..tenting the center to prevent the cheese from sticking.

Bake about 30 minutes. Uncover…bake until potatoes are tender and top is light brown…15-20 minutes.

Let it sit about 10 minutes before serving.

{this is the point where your husband or significant other will love you till the day you die..}

Goat Cheese Salad with dried cherries and port dressing:

{serves 4}

1 1/4 cups dried tart cherries

1/2 cup tawny port

5 ounces pancetta or bacon: chopped

2 shallots, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/3 c. olive oil

1.4 c. red wine vinegar

2 tsp sugar

1 5.5-ounce log soft goat cheese, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1/2 cup pine nuts: toasted

1 5-ounce bag of salad greens


Potato gratin with Gruyere and Mushrooms

{serves 8-10}

1/4 c. olive oil

4 c. finely chopped leeks {white and pale green parts only..about 3 of them}

1 1/2 pounds mushrooms {such as shiitake, baby bella, crimini} slices and cubed into 1/2 inches. {about 10 cups}

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch thick slices

2 c. heavy whipping cream

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper.

1 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese.


  1. Okay, that salad looks amazing. I’ll be trying that tomorrow.
    Thank you!

  2. Ummmm…sounds AMAZING!!!

  3. FOR someone…. that claims not to be a good cook~ your food ALWAYS makes me hungry!
    yummy yummy!

  4. Yummy, I could eat the whole pan of potatoes, ohyesicould. and then have pie afterward. You can keep the salad! Thanks for sharing & have a happy New Year! xo

  5. Ummmm YUMMM!!! I swear my stomach growled when I saw the first pic. 🙂

  6. yum! that looks so good that i almost licked the computer screen…


  7. Thanks a bunch. Nothing like a new recipe to start of the New Year!! It looks awesome.

  8. I love your sites, and always did. Made me hungry for salads. I love the different stuff….

  9. Seriously, you are freaking me out a bit with this whole cooking thing… I am absolutely trying the salad tomorrow – the potatoes will have to wait until I have recovered from a horrific run of eating shitty…

  10. Looks yummy yummy in my tummy!!

    And I love the plate!! Want, want, waaaaant!

  11. looks lovely AND delish!!!

  12. i MUST make that potato gratin! it sounds soooooooo good right now!!! yum!!!

  13. love your photos! both recipes sound like a keeper!

  14. Both look so yummy! Sounds perfect for our New Years Day dinner.

  15. Kim DiNardo Smith says:

    YUM!!!!!!!!! Just when I WAS GOING TO GIVE UP CARBS!!!!!!!!

  16. they both look soooo amazing and I’m sooooo hungry now:) thank you for sharing these recipes…I know my family would love them too
    Happy New Year and hope Mason is doing better

  17. Looks so yummy! mmmmmmmm.

  18. Delicious!

  19. Thanks for sharing. I will save the recipes for after I lose the 8 lbs. that found me:( They look delicious!

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