This recipe will blow your mind! When I made it, I had to call a couple people to come over and be my taste-testers because I was so excited about how yummy it was. I love au gratin potatoes but I always feel SO guilty ordering them because I know they are made with a combo of butter, fat, heavy cream, etc. You know, all the best things in the world that make food SOOO good. So I decided to give them a make-over and see if cutting some of the fat, and therefore calories, would take away from the scrumptiousness that makes me love this amazing little side dish....nope...the love is still there! Test it out for yourself and let me know what you think!
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
3 Tbsp Hormel real bacon bits
1/4 cup chive, sliced
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt (for the cheese sauce)
1/2 tsp pepper (for the cheese sauce)
2 cups skim milk (you can use any milk but I only had skim)
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 1/2 cups 50% reduced fat white cheddar cheese (such as cabot)
salt and pepper to taste (for potatoes)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9in pie plate or a casserole dish. Using a cheese grater or the grate feature of your food processor, grate the cheese. Again using your food processor, only this time you will use the slice feature, leave the skin on and slice all 4 potatoes. (You can hand slice in 1/8in. thick round slices but a food processor saves a TON of time!) Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with half of the onion slices, half of the chives and all the bacon bits. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining potatoes, lightly salt and pepper to taste again.
In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the flour, salt and pepper to create a roux and stir constantly with a whisk for 60-90 seconds. Stir in milk making sure to whisk out any lumps. Cook until mixture has begun to thicken. Add in the cheese all at one time, and stir until melted, this only takes about 45 seconds. Pour cheese sauce over the potatoes, top with remaining onion slices and chives. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil, Broil for 5-7 minutes or until the top begins to turn a golden brown. Let cool for 8-10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings
Per Serving: 228 cals / 9g fat / 26g carbs / 13g protein