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Gratin Dauphinois

Posted by Didi Davis on

Serves 6 to 8

Gratin Dauphinois is a regional dish of baked potato slices from the Dauphine region in south-east France. This version of the classicgratin, the wealthy cousin of scalloped potatoes, layers thin slices of potato with cream and seasoning. Nothing could be richer or simpler. Serve with roast beef or chicken, or enjoy the leftover gratin in the morning with poached, fried, or scrambled eggs.

1 clove garlic, split
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
4 to 6 large Yukon Gold, or russet (Idaho) potatoes, peeled and sliced paper-thin
Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
3 cups heavy cream, approximately

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Rub a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with the cut side of the garlic halves and let dry. Discard the garlic. Butter the baking dish.

Place 1 layer of potato slices in the dish, overlapping them. Season very well with sea salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour some of the cream over the surface of the potatoes to barely cover. Repeat with the potatoes, seasonings, and cream, making 2 more layers, for a total of 3 layers. The potatoes should just barely be covered with cream, not completely submerged.

Bake the potatoes for about 1 ½ hours, or until the potatoes are golden brown on top, the cream is almost all absorbed, and the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove from the oven and let rest to settle, so the gratin will be easier to cut, 15 to 20 minutes.

Variations:

*Add sautéed onions in between the layers of potatoes.

*Add sautéed mushrooms and persillade between the layers of potatoes.

*Mix ¼ to 1/3 cup Dijon mustard (smooth or grainy or a combination) into the cream before adding to the gratin.

*Replace half the cream with chicken stock and layer the potatoes with slices of Gruyère and Gouda cheese.

*Sauté some savoy cabbage in butter and season well with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Replace half the cream with chicken stock and layer the potatoes with the sautéed cabbage. Top with a mixture of fresh bread crumbs and cooked crumbled bacon.

*Replace half of the potatoes with sweet potatoes.

*Use 1/3 white potatoes, 1/3 celery root, 1/3 sweet potatoes.

Recipe and Variations Copyright Deirdre Davis 2015

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