Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gratin Dauphinois

Milk, heavy cream, garlic, grated Gruyere, nutmeg, potatoes

Sliced potatoes using a mandolin

Assembled dish

                                                                               
                                                                                                                Gratin Dauphinois



There are several versions of this dish from the Dauphine region of southeastern France.  Sometimes they omit topping it with cheese.  But actually, gratin originally referred to the crispy bits at the bottom of the pan.  A gratin is usually prepared in a shallow oven-proof dish, and is baked or broiled, and is served in its baking dish.  This is commonly called Potato Gratin or Scalloped Potatoes.

Gratin Dauphinois

Ingredients:

2 ¼ lbs russet potatoes

2 garlic cloves, crushed

½ cup grated Gruy√®re cheese

Pinch of nutmeg

1 ¼ cups heavy cream

½ cup milk

1.       Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Thinly slice the potatoes with a mandolin or sharp knife.  Butter a 9 x 6 ½ inch ovenproof dish and layer the potatoes, sprinkling the garlic, grated cheese, nutmeg and seasoning between the layers and leaving a bit of cheese for the top.  Pour the cream and milk over the top and sprinkle the cheese.

2.       Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the potatoes are completely cooked and the liquid absorbed.  If the top browns too much, cover loosely with foil.  Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Prior to making this dish I had made Pommes Anna which is like a simplified version of Gratin Dauphinois.  All it is is sliced potatoes and melted butter – so simple but so good.  So when I came to the recipe for Gratin Dauphinois, I thought, “This must be better!”

Making this was very easy.  First I sprayed my ovenproof dish with a cooking spray for easy cleanup later.  Then I used a mandolin to slice the potatoes which is a huge time saver.  However I grated the cheese and nutmeg myself because then I know that my ingredients are fresh.  Note:  always buy your spices whole and grind them yourself.  You not only save money this way, but are ensured that they are flavorful.  I used a microplane to grate the nutmeg.  Layering and baking is the easy part.

The finished dish was thoroughly enjoyed by my family, and my daughter in particular.  It was creamy and cheesy.  Yummm!  However, I found the potatoes to be a bit less tender than I would like.  The next time I make this dish I will cover it with foil, and then put it under the broiler the last 5 minutes to brown the top. 

How do you make your scalloped potatoes?

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