Monday, April 29, 2013

Cheesy Potato Gratin

This is the gratin my mom has been making for years and it's just how I like it: decadent (hello, heavy cream!) and delicious! I do not claim that it is a traditional recipe for gratin dauphinois. Actually, because of the addition of gruyère cheese, it might be considered more of a gratin savoyard (from the Savoie region in the Alps). Also, I skip the step of pre-cooking the potatoes in milk before baking the gratin in the oven -- it works just fine and saves time!

Here are a few tips for achieving the perfect scalloped potatoes:
- use Yukon Gold potatoes,
- slice them thin (between ⅛ and ¼ inch thick) using a food processor or mandoline, or a sharp chef's knife,
- do not rinse or soak the potatoes once they are sliced (you need the potatoes to hold on to their starch which will give the gratin a smooth and creamy texture),
- make ahead of time, turn off oven, and let the gratin sit in the warm oven for up to one hour,
- for a lighter version, use broth (or homemade stock) instead of cream/milk.

Serves 6-8
  • About 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, rinsed and thinly sliced = 1 kg de pommes de terre (type Charlotte), épluchées, nettoyées et coupées en fines rondelles
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter = 20-30 g de beurre
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped = 1 gousse d'ail, finement hâchée
  • 1 cup heavy cream = 240 ml de crème liquide
  • ½ cup milk = 120 ml de lait
  • 1 cup (packed) shredded gruyère cheese = 125 g de gruyère râpé
  • Salt & pepper = sel et poivre
  • A pinch of nutmeg = une pincée de noix de muscade

Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.

Generously butter a baking dish (about 12” x 8“) and sprinkle the garlic all over the bottom.

Place a layer of potatoes slices in the prepared dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with ¼ cup heavy cream and ¼ cup cheese. Repeat 3 times until all potatoes, cream and cheese are used up. After the last layer, add nutmeg to the milk and pour all over. Bake, uncovered, for about one hour until all liquid is absorbed, potatoes are tender and top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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