You will love this tasty Potato Dish!
3 T Butter
2 T All-purpose flour
1 1/4 C Half-and-half
1/2 (10-oz.) block Sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (2-inch) piece slab bacon (cooked), thinly sliced (optional)
1 Shallot, sliced
1 Garlic clove, minced
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper, freshly ground
1/8 t Nutmeg, ground
2 large Baking potatoes (about 2 lb.), peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 bunch fresh Chives, finely chopped to 1/4 cup
1 small Fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Garnish: Rosemary sprigs
Preheat oven to 400°. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and chives; sauté 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute.
Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in half-and-half; cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Whisk in cheese until melted and smooth. Stir in salt and next 2 ingredients.
Layer potato and fennel slices alternately in a lightly greased, broiler-safe ceramic 2-qt. casserole dish. Spread cheese sauce over layers and crumble bacon on top, if using. Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake at 400° for 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to broil with oven rack 5 inches from heat. Uncover dish, and broil 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish, if desired.