9 May 2014

GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN) WITHANDWITHOUT CHEESE

GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
'Gratin Dauphinois' is a regional dish from Dauphiné, a historic region in the south-east of France. In its original version the gratin is made with thinly sliced, uncooked, starchy potatoes and cream. (But no cheese!) A shallow gratin dish is rubbed with garlic halves for flavour, and then buttered. The potatoes are layered inside the dish, overlapping, like fish scales. (But still no cheese!) The seasoned cream is added on top, and the dish is baked in the oven until soft and creamy, and with the typical beautiful golden-brown crust on top. (But still not a gram of cheese in sight!)
GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
So if you want to call your gratin 'Gratin Dauphinois', then make sure to leave that cheese away! But as for me, I like mine with and without cheese, so there you have it: 'Gratin Dauphinois WITHANDWITHOUT cheese'! Sorry dear people of Dauphiné! I add cheese depending on my mood, or the dish I serve the gratin with: meat, lamb or fish, lean or rich. Furthermore, I use waxy or starchy potatoes, simply depending on which ones I have at home at the time. But I do stick to the one rule to use uncooked potatoes.

GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
After many years and plenty of gratins, I find the recipe works either way. When using waxy potatoes, I cut them thinly or slice them with a Mandolin; I leave the gratin in the oven a little longer for the potatoes to soften and absorb the liquid. Starchy or waxy, with or without cheese, make sure to have an eye on the dish regularly and especially towards the end of cooking time (insert a small knife or skewer to check if the potatoes are soft) to make sure the gratin does not brown too much on top before the potatoes are done. Cover the top with aluminium foil if necessary. You can always remove the foil and increase the heat at the end to get the nice brown crust.
GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
Tip: Fresh from the oven, the gratin tends to be a little runny at first. So leave it to rest before serving, which will give it a chance to set. Alternatively you can make it in the morning or even the previous day and leave it to cool. Once cold, it has the perfect consistency to be cut into slices, squares or circles. Simply reheat the smaller pieces in the microwave. See the difference of the same gratin below, fresh out of the oven (left), and the day after (right and below). A great side-dish for grilled or fried meats, lamb, fish, or as on my plate below: 'His Highness' first ever sous-vide duck confit - yum! 
GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
The basic recipe I follow is from a book I picked up some years ago at Lyon Saint-Exupéry airport on the way home from a business trip. The trip was a nightmare, to say the least,  and I could not wait to get home. Luckily Lyon airport has a great book shop that was a perfect distraction, and once I managed to detach myself from the  'Petit Prince' section, with books, toy planes and other cute 'Petit Prince' collectibles, I found this gem: 'The Food of France' - in English, hurray! It's a great book, featuring lots of traditional French dishes, with big photos and illustrated pull-out pages full of cheese and baked goods, and many other French culinary pleasures. Needless to say, my mood was quickly restored :-)  Lo and behold, the 'Gratin Dauphinois' in this book is made WITH CHEESE!!! :-)
GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
Recipe based on: The Food of France, Murdoch Books
Print Friendly and PDF
Makes 6 Portions
1kg floury (starchy) potatoes (or waxy potatoes if at hand)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely crushed
75g Gruyere, grated (or more like 140g) (or a mix like: Gouda, Emmental, Rigatello)
(or no cheese if you like it original)
freshly grated nutmeg
250 ml fresh cream (it's the size the cream is available here; or use 300ml and less milk)
150 ml milk
a little butter for the dish
optional: couple of thyme sprigs for decoration
Also: a flat oven-proof or gratin dish, app. 20x20 cm
GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan. Butter the dish. Peel the potatoes, placing them immediately in a bowl with cold water to prevent them from browning. Dry the potatoes, then cut them into thin slices with a sharp knife or Mandolin. The potato slices tend to brown quickly, so I only slice what I put immediately into the dish and keep the remaining whole potatoes inside the cold water until further use. 

GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
Put the first layer of potato slices into the dish, overlapping like fish scales. Season with salt, sprinkle over a little garlic and some cheese; grate some fresh nutmeg on top. Add another layer of potato slices, season, and proceed as above until all the potatoes are sliced and used up, finishing with a layer of potatoes, seasoned with salt and nutmeg. 
GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
Mix the cream with the milk, and add salt to taste. Pour the mixture over the potatoes then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. 

GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
Bake the gratin in the pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes. Towards the end of cooking time, check with a small sharp knife or skewer from time to time if the potatoes are soft. If necessary cover the top of the gratin with aluminium foil to avoid too much browning. 

GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
The gratin is ready when the edges are bubbly, the potatoes are soft and creamy and the liquid is fully absorbed. It should have a beautiful golden-brown crust. 
GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)
Leave the baked gratin to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving so that it can set. 
GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)


_________________________________________________



GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN) WITHANDWITHOUT CHEESE



GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (POTATO GRATIN)

Makes 6 Portions

1kg floury (starchy) potatoes (or waxy potatoes if at hand)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely crushed
75g Gruyere, grated (or more like 140g) (or a mix like: Gouda, Emmental, Rigatello), 
(or no cheese if you like it original)
freshly grated nutmeg
250 ml fresh cream (it's the size the cream is available here; or use 300ml and less milk)
150 ml milk
a little butter for the dish
optional: couple of thyme sprigs for decoration

Also: a flat oven-proof or gratin dish, app. 20x20 cm

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan. Butter the dish. Peel the potatoes, placing them immediately in a bowl with cold water to prevent them from browning. Dry the potatoes, then cut them into thin slices with a sharp knife or Mandolin. Put the first layer of potato slices into the dish, overlapping like fish scales. Season with salt, sprinkle over a little garlic and some cheese; grate some fresh nutmeg on top. Add another layer of potato slices, season, and proceed as above until all the potatoes are sliced and used up, finishing with a layer of potatoes, seasoned with salt and nutmeg. Mix the cream with the milk, and add salt to taste. Pour the mixture over the potatoes then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake the gratin in the pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes. Towards the end of cooking time, check with a small sharp knife or skewer from time to time if the potatoes are soft. If necessary cover the top of the gratin with aluminium foil to avoid too much browning. The gratin is ready when the edges are bubbly, the potatoes are soft and creamy and the liquid is fully absorbed. It should have a beautiful golden-brown crust. Leave the baked gratin to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving so that it can set.
Print Friendly and PDF

No comments:

Post a Comment