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December 13, 2022

Potatoes Dauphinois

Guaranteed to Please the Kids

Potatoes Dauphinois is a sumptuous French dish made by thinly slicing potatoes, baking them in milk and cream, and topping them with a dusting of fresh nutmeg and gruyere cheese. It’s an exquisite dish that is simple to make. This will quickly become a family favorite because it is sophisticated enough for adults and kid-friendly. There is nothing like enjoying the same meal as a family and watching your children fall in love with gourmet food. Give this dish a try, and let me know how it was received. I have no doubt everyone will give it a thumbs up.

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Potatoes Dauphinois

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Ingredients

Scale

2 1/2- 3 pounds boiling potatoes, such as Yukon Gold

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

3 large garlic cloves, pressed with a garlic press

1 teaspoon Celtic or sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Use a small kitchen scale to weigh out 2 1/2 pounds of potatoes. This is about 4-5 Idaho potatoes.

Wash and peel the potatoes. Do not rinse them after peeling; the starch is needed to create a firm (not watery) dauphinoise.

Slice the potatoes into very thin slices. Traditionally, the potatoes are cut with a mandoline (not the musical instrument but the kitchen slicer) but you can use the slicer on a box grater or a sharp knife to get them as thin as possible. The thinner the better, because when the potatoes are thin, they are lighter and almost melt in your mouth. This is part of the elegance of the dish.

Put the potatoes in a deep saucepan (see video). Add the milk and cream, garlic, salt, and pepper and bring just to a boil over moderate heat.

Cook them on a high simmer for 20 - 30 mins to allow the milk and cream to thicken. The Dauphinoise should be firm and not runny after they are baked, and this step is key.

Butter a 2 1/2 - 3-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish. Use your fingers or a piece of paper towel to rub 1 tbsp of butter in the dish. Tip: Save the butter wrappers in the fridge to use when you need to butter a dish; it’s fast and mess free.

Pour the potato mixture into the buttered dish, distributing the potatoes evenly with a spatula. Pat them down a bit so the potatoes lay flat in layers.

Use a zester to grate fresh nutmeg over the potatoes. Sprinkle the grated gruyere cheese evenly over the top. Always use a fresh block of cheese, not pre-grated.

Bake at 400 degrees until the potatoes are tender and the tops are golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

The Dauphinois can be made ahead of time. Cool completely, then refrigerate, covered. They are always better when they are made early in the day or the day before and then reheated. Bring to room temperature before reheating, cover with tin foil, and reheat in a 350-degree oven.

Video Recipe- shows 2 important steps: how to slice the potatoes and how to simmer them.

Notes

Many authentic versions of Dauphinoise call for layering the potato in the dish and pouring the cream and milk over the top then baking. Sometimes with this method the result can be too watery. I find my version foolproof for getting a firm Dauphinoise.

I've used this Cuisinart mandoline for years. You can compare prices at Williams Sonoma and Amazon.

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I often cook "au pif," as we say in France, which means cooking without an exact recipe and by "feel" using your intuition.  You’ll often find guidelines in many recipes versus exact quantities.  Write to me here if you have any questions about the recipes.

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