Monday, October 26, 2009

Potato Gratin Dauphinois

What is it about potatoes baked with a garlicky cream and oozing with Gruyere cheese that is comforting? Is it the cheesy browned crust on top, or the creamy potatoes underneath that warms the soul? After I finally got my car back from my upstate New York adventure last week, I needed a little more soul warming! When dining in Paris, it is my secret wish that my plat comes with my favorite traditional French side dish. Potato Gratin Dauphinois is right beside a melting chocolate dessert on my dining hierarchy. These potatoes are even sold at the Parisien Food Markets, ready to be scooped up for you by the vendor.

Their origin is from the Dauphiné region of France, but their destiny is all mine ;-))

Potato Gratin Dauphinois

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz. freshly grated Swiss Gruyere cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved
2 lbs. firm fleshed potatoes, peeled and sliced very thin
3 TBSP butter

Prepare a shallow 2 quart gratin dish, by thoroughly rubbing with the garlic halves. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

In a large saucepan, bring the milk to boil over medium heat. Add the cream and 3/4 of the cheese, stirring to blend. Finely chop the garlic used for rubbing the dish and add. Season with salt, pepper and a grating of the nutmeg. Add the potatoes and mix well with a wooden spoon. Cook over low heat, stirring often until the potatoes are half way done, about 10-15 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Transfer the potatoes and their liquid to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and butter. 

Place in the center of the oven and bake until the potatoes are cooked through and the top is crisp and golden, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves four to six.

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