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Potato and Porcini Gratin

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 cup)
1 cup warm water
5 large russet (baking) potatoes (about 3 pounds)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon salt


In a bowl soak porcini in warm water 30 minutes, or until softened. Slowly strain soaking liquid through a fine sieve lined with a coffee filter or a double thickness of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth into a small saucepan, being careful to leave last tablespoon (containing sediment) in bowl. Boil soaking liquid until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Preheat oven to 350F. Wash porcini under cold water to remove any grit and pat dry. Chop porcini coarse. Peel potatoes and slice 1/8 inch thick. In a large (4-quart) saucepan cook porcini and garlic in butter over moderate heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Add potatoes, reduced porcini liquid, milk, cream, 4 teaspoons chives, and salt and bring liquid to boil, stirring. Transfer mixture to a buttered 2-quart gratin dish and bake 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle gratin with remaining 2 teaspoons chives.

Source: www.epicurious.com