October 3, 2008

Gratin Dauphinois

What: Gratin Dauphinois. A layered potato and cheese gratin, infused with a little bit of garlic and nutmeg and baked until golden and bubbly. A classic French dish.

Why: Exquisite flavor and rich, creamy texture. Simple and honest. Requires only a few ingredients. Because everyone needs to indulge in comfort food like this once and a while.

Equipment: A sharp knife or mandoline*. A ceramic gratin dish. An oven.

How: Gather your ingredients. You may have them in your kitchen already.
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 pounds starchy potatoes
  • 1 cup grated Swiss Gruyère (or Emmental if you must - but Gruyère is richer)
  • ½ cup heavy cream (or 1 cup of heavy cream if you don't have crème fraîche)
  • ½ cup crème fraîche (or 1 cup crème fraîche if you don't have heavy cream)
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • fine sea salt
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Rub the bottom of the gratin dish with the garlic clove, then thinly slice it.
Peel the potatoes and thinly slice them with either a knife or a mandoline.
Layer half the potato slices on the bottom of the gratin dish. Scatter the sliced garlic over the potatoes then sprinkle on half the cheese, the crème fraîche (or ½ cup of heavy cream) and some salt.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients and top with a tiny grating of nutmeg.
Bake for an hour. The gratin will be crisp and golden on top, soft and creamy in the middle.

* My inexpensive, plastic mandoline is about 12 years old and still going strong. Pin It
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