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Jalapeno potatoes au gratin? Yes, please!
After not having traveled anywhere for two years, my husband and I have started traveling again. We have a couple of pretty big trips planned but started with a small trip last weekend.
I’ll spare you the details, but what started off pretty rough ended with an amazing breakfast at a local Mexican place. While it was all good, the highlight was what they simply called “jalapeno potatoes.”
We ordered them with the thought we would get some browned crispy skillet potatoes with some jalapeños added in. But then the waitress set down a plate with a perfect square of potatoes topped with green sauce and drizzled with sour cream. Not at all what I had in mind, but I dove in nonetheless.
By the time we were done, we were happy to have had the wrong idea, because the potatoes were delicious. The sauce was tangy and bright, like my favorite enchilada, and the potatoes seemed to me like potatoes au gratin.
Naturally, when I eat something like this in a restaurant, the first thing I do is try to come up with a way to make it myself. Especially if it’s something simple like this.
I started with thinly sliced potatoes (almost paper thin — you’ll definitely need a mandolin for this) and layered them high in a square baking dish. I added some onions and garlic, then poured milk over them. When making something like this, it’s important to sprinkle salt and pepper between every layer. It may seem like overkill, but it ensures you wind up with something well seasoned throughout.
While the potatoes are baking, I made the sauce. I make a quick blended salsa verde sauce using canned tomatillos because that’s all that was available. It turned out pretty delicious.
I also added cheese to the end, because I genuinely thought there was cheese on the restaurant version, but as my husband pointed out, I was wrong. I stand by the cheese anyway, because, well, cheese. But you do you.
Oh, and these don’t have to be breakfast potatoes. They make a nice side dish alongside tacos, enchiladas, or just by themselves.
Jalapeno potatoes au gratin with a bright and spicy green sauce are the perfect breakfast, lunch, or dinner side dish.
Start the sauce by preheating broiler to high heat. Put the peppers and onion on a baking sheet and broil until the peppers are black and the onion is charred. Remove, and transfer the peppers to a container and cover. Set aside while you make the potatoes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Using a mandolin, slice the potatoes and onion as thin as you can.
Brush the inside of square baking dish with oil, butter, or cooking spray.
Layer the potatoes, onion, and garlic in the dish, seasoning with salt and pepper between each layer.
Whisk the milk with the flour and pour over the potatoes.
Drizzle with melted butter and cover tightly with foil.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10 more minutes.
While the potatoes are baking, remove the peppers from the sealed container. Using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, rub the skin off the peppers.
Add to a blender with the onion, garlic, tomatillos, cilantro and broth.
Blend until smooth, and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Cut the potatoes into 16 squares. Transfer to a plate and pour the sauce over top. Sprinkle with cheese and sour cream if desired.
Storing leftovers: Leftovers can be stored separately in an airtight container in the fridge.