Butternut Squash and Potatoes Gratin

One of the most delicious dishes I’ve tasted in while is Butternut Squash and Potatoes Gratin.  I just found two variations of this recipe and hope to make one of them for Thanksgiving.

2 cups whipping cream combined with 1/4 cup water
2 plump garlic cloves, minced
3 large BC or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced (you want about even quantities of potato and squash)
Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
About 1/3 pound pancetta, chopped, fried crispy-chewy
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
About 5 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 375F. Generously butter a 12-inch oval or oblong baking dish. Pour cream-water mixture in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic. Stir and heat until steaming. Set aside.
Layer all of the butternut squash evenly into the baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper. Top with half of the pancetta, green onions, grated Gruyere. Dot with half the butter. Second layer, same as the first, but this time using the potatoes. Pour the warm, garlic-infused cream evenly over the top of the whole casserole. Bake for approximately 1 1/4 hours until bubbly, golden-brown and fork tender. Let rest just a few moments before serving. Enjoy!
or
1 butternut squash (about 2 lb.), peeled
2 Idaho potatoes (about 1-1/4 lb. total), peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs combined with 2 Tbs. melted butter
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8-inch (2-qt.) glass or ceramic baking dish. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and fibers. Slice the squash and potatoes about 1/8 inch thick (use a mandoline if you have one). Line the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of squash (overlapping slightly), season lightly with salt and pepper, sprinkle with a little of the Parmigiano, and drizzle with a little of the cream. Cover with a layer of potato slices, season with salt, pepper, Parmigiano, and cream. Repeat with the remaining squash and potatoes until the dish is full, ending with a top layer of squash, seasoned and topped with any remaining cheese and cream. (You may have extra squash.) Press down lightly to distribute the cream and compact the layers. The last layer of squash should be just sitting in the cream, but not covered by it. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the vegetables feel tender when poked with a thin, sharp knife (check the middle layer), about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Combine the walnuts and buttered breadcrumbs. Remove the gratin from the oven, sprinkle with the breadcrumb-nut mixture, and bake until the top is lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Let sit in a warm place for 20 minutes before serving so that liquids will set and tighten the gratin. Cut into 9 squares and serve.
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