How to: Gratin Dauphinois

potatosI married a French guy. He had a mother. She hated to cook. (I should have run away then.) I brought my love of cooking and 17 boxes of kitchen paraphernalia with me when I moved here. I had spent the prior year getting to know him… eating in restaurants, going to his friend’s homes for dinners… in short, enjoying the cuisine of France. One of my most favorite dishes has always been gratin dauphinois. What could be easier than potatoes, milk, and cheese I thought? Pfft. I can do that!

Yeah. Right. Not til now. Now I know I don’t have to simmer the spuds in milk, minding the heat so they don’t get scalded… no wondering which cheese is the right cheese… there is NO cheese! This is a simple dish prepared simply and with love.

Tonight I had three little potatoes that had been leftover from last week’s raclette. I had a dab of butter, a tiny box of creme léger and a clove of garlic. Salt and pepper grinders are always on hand. I was set. I sliced the taters into a large bowl, poured the creme over top, seasoned it, rubbed garlic and butter into a ramekin and poured it all in… Popped it into a low oven and let it go for about 2 hours. And THAT, my friends, is the trick. 

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