Creamy Skillet Potatoes and Mushrooms


Infused Cream:
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 cup heavy cream, 35% whipping cream or see Note 1
2 fresh thyme branches, or 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves

Mushroom Layer:
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 lb whole cremini mushrooms, see Note 2
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 cups baby spinach, packed

Potato Topping:
1/2 lb. Russet baking potatoes, about 2 medium sized or see Note 3
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a small saucepan, combine the 2 cloves chopped garlic with the cream. Place the thyme branches in and push down into the cream. Heat cream over low heat a few minutes, or just until warm (*do not boil!), then turn the heat off under the saucepan and allow to sit while you cook the mushrooms.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Cook 1/2 of the mushrooms, stirring regularly, until most of the liquid has cooked off, but the mushrooms are still holding their shape. (If you are someone who prefers well-done mushrooms, feel free to cook longer). Remove mushrooms to a bowl and repeat with the second half of the mushrooms, cooking the same way. Remove to the same bowl.
Add a splash of cooking oil to the skillet, if dry. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring, until softened. Add the 2 cloves and stir/cook and additional 30-45 seconds. Return the mushrooms to the skillet, together with any liquid in the bowl. Stir to combine. Scatter baby spinach over the top and cook, stirring, just until the spinach wilts (you may need to do this in batches for it all to fit). *Note: The liquid from the mushrooms will help to wilt the spinach. Once the spinach is wilted and stirred in, if there is a lot of liquid in the pan, you could spoon some off, to avoid watering down the cream sauce.
Remove skillet from heat.
Wash and peel the potatoes, if desired (peeling isn't necessary though, if clean). Slice into thin rounds. Arrange the potato rounds in a single layer, slightly over-lapping, on top of the mushrooms in the skillet. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Top with Gruyere cheese. Slowly pour the infused cream mixture over-top, pouring all over the skillet. *You could strain out the garlic and thyme, but I like to keep it in).
Cover skillet with aluminum foil (or a lid) and cook in preheated oven for 60-75 minutes, or until the potatoes test tender when tested with the point of a knife. Remove foil and continue cooking an additional 15 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Allow to stand a 5-10 minutes to set, then spoon out of the skillet to serving plates.