Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gratin Dauphinois

I love gratined potatoes. I love this creamy, silky recipe best. I served it with Rosemary Garlic Lamb Chops. This is warming, soul-satisfying comfort on your plate. The kind of thing you want to eat when you are a long way from home, sure that it must be fall somewhere, and wondering how firey the leaves are this year.

Joel Robuchon's Gratin Dauphinois. Deep, simple, long-familiar flavors, still perfect after hundreds of years. Proof that food from great chef's is not always fussy and always worth an attempt or two.

J.R.'s Gratin Dauphinois adapted from Patricia Wells, At Home in Provence
Serves 4

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces coarsely grated gruyere cheese
Sea salt and freshly gound pepper to taste
Grated fresh nutmeg to taste
1 plump, fresh garlic clove, peeled and halved
2 pounds firm-fleshed potatoes, washed well and sliced very thin
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375ยบ degrees. Thoroughly rub the inside of a shallow 2-quart baking dish with garlic. Set aside the garlic for the next step.

Put the milk in a large saucepan and add to it the garlic. Bring the milk to a boil over moderate heat. Add the cream and 3/4 of the cheese. Stir to blend. Season with salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg. Add the potatoes and mix well with a wooden spoon. Cook over low heat, stirring from time to time, until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Re-season.

Transfer the potatoes and their liquid to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and dot with 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.

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