When I was young, the idea of potatoes au gratin really appealed to me. They just sounded so special and fancy. Scalloped potatoes were a regular thing at our house and there were au gratin potato chips, but I don’t recall them being a regular part of our menu. They may have been, but I don’t remember it. (Sorry, mom.)
Potatoes and cheese are classic. Switzerland has raclette (which I have eaten in Switzerland). Canada has poutine (which I have not eaten in Canada, but I assume I will at some point.) Sports bars have potato skins. Diners offer cheese with hashbrowns. One time I made chipotle potatoes au gratin and they were amazing. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a potato and cheese combination that I didn’t like. These Skillet Potatoes were no exception.
Maybe these potatoes were so ooey-gooey delicious because we use Weyauwega cheese almost exclusively. Seriously, there is nothing better. It’s the cheese I grew up eating, so maybe that’s part of it, but it is really good cheese. They are even distributing cheese curds to Texas now. My friend called to ask if they were legit. Yep. They are the real thing. (This makes it sounds like an advertisement. It’s not, I just really love Weyauwega cheese.)
Boiling the potatoes with the onions mellows the onions and just leaves the flavor. The small amount of water used to boil the potatoes means the potatoes don’t need to be drained and the starch from them helps to thicken the cheesy sauce. These are not the best au gratin potatoes I’ve ever had in my life. They aren’t steakhouse worthy, but you know, for something that is ready in 30 minutes or less, it’s a pretty decent side dish for any night of the week.