On my way home from the grocery store the other day, something twinkling from above caught my eye and made me gasp. It confirmed what I had seen the day after Halloween but had put out of my mind for a couple weeks, too busy to acknowledge. It was a red and gold tinsel-strewn street lamp. Yes, even here in Beverly Hills, with the sun still shining and flip-flops still the footwear of choice, the holidays have begun to take over the streets.
Since I offered to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year, I decided to face down my denial and shift into high hostess gear. So I began to dig through my bulging file of recipes, sorting out the grease-splattered ones I had scrawled with happy faces or “yum!” and tossing those that weren’t so memorable. This recipe, along with the photo, was one of those keepers that I had torn out from Martha Stewart Living 10 years ago. Above the wrinkled title, humbly named “Mushroom Potato Pie,” I had written “gorgeous!”
What I love about the Thanksgiving meal is that, unlike other repasts, I don’t feel the need to shake up the menu, re-work the traditional fare, or tantalize with brand new dishes. This is one holiday where enough is enough. And, in fact, enough is fantastic. If you are hosting a holiday feast this season, let me offer my secret to pulling it off perfectly. Just give folks what they want—good food, prepared from scratch with love, along a huge helping of thankfulness.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
1 onion, diced small
2 pounds assorted wild mushrooms, such as shiitake, chanterelle, oyster, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated Gruyere cheese (or shredded vegan cheese)
1 cup (about 3-1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese (or vegan Parmesan)
1-1/2 pounds (about 3-4) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream or unsweetened coconut milk
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a very large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their juices and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the white wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until dry, 3-5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and set aside.
4. Combine the cheeses and set aside. Using a mandoline or slicer, slice the potatoes 1/8-inch thick. Place a layer of potato slices, slightly overlapping, in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with half the chopped thyme, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half of the grated cheese and mound the mushroom mixture on top. Sprinkle again with all but 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Arrange the remaining potato slices around the edge of the pie. Pour the cream over the top and season once again with salt, pepper, and remaining thyme.
5. Cover the top loosely with foil and bake until the filling is bubbly, about 1 hour. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake until the top is golden, about 20-30 more minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Not a fan of pumpkin pie? Try Dark Chocolate Walnut Bourbon Pie.