Piece of life
I don’t know about you, but I’m cold. With the negative temperature [-20°C today. Really ! Way to cold for me] our little family stayed warm and cosy at home. Board games, buns for snack, cartoons for the kids, we just needed a comforting dish to end our day. The kids don’t like potatoes [at least that’s what they say] but on the other hand they like French fries, mashed potatoes and gratin dauphinois [go figure]. Gratin dauphinois for supper then.
About the gratin dauphinois recipe
Do you know gratin dauphinois (scalloped potatoes) ? This French speciality from the Dauphiné (historical region of south-eastern France) consists of thin slices of potatoes baked in a milk/cream mixture. What a pleasure to eat, a perfect comforting food.
A few tips to make a perfect gratin dauphinois
Let’s be honest, it’s unlikely that you’ll get it wrong, but here are a few tips to help you.
1/ The main point is the type of potato. Potatoes must keep their consistency when served [you don’t want mashed potatoes], so choose potatoes that will remain firm despite the long cooking time. In Canada I use white or yellow potatoes [in France the amandine, the charlotte, the belle de Fontenay are good options, for example].
2/ Do not rinse the potatoes AFTER slicing them. The starch contained in the potatoes is the essential binding element of the dish.
3/ Potato slices should be thin. Ideally use a mandoline slicer to make slices about 2 to 3 mm thick.
4/ You can bake in the oven only but it will take a long time, about 1h30. An alternative is to pre-cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes in the milk and cream mixture. The baking time will then be 30 to 40 minutes. This is the method I use.
You can serve it vegetarian with baby spinach leaves [or other vegetables], but it also goes very well with meat.
Traditional french gratin dauphinois (french scalloped potatoes)
- 1,5 kg potatoes (white or yellow)
- 700 ml milk
- 300 ml heavy cream
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into thin slices (2 to 3 mm thick).
- Cut the onion into quarters and roughly crush the garlic cloves.
- In a pan mix the milk and cream. Add the onion and garlic cloves. Bring to boil and leave for 5 minutes. Remove the cloves and onion.
- Add the potato slices, season with salt and pepper and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
- Put the potatoes and the milk/cream mixture in an ovenproof dish.
- Bake for 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.