I made Julia Child’s Gratin Dauphinois over the holidays and it turned out great.
There are as many “authentic” versions of gratin dauphinois as there are of bouillabaisse. Of them all, we prefer this one because it is fast, simple, and savory. It goes with roast or broiled chicken, turkey, and veal. . Although some authorities on le vrai gratin dauphinois would violently disagree, you may omit the cheese. If you do so, add 2 more tablespoons of butter.
For 6 people Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- 2 lbs. “boiling” potatoes (6 to 7 cups when sliced)
Peel the potatoes and slice them ⅛ inch thick.
Place in a basin of cold water.
Drain when ready to use.
- A fireproof baking-serving dish about 10 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep (if recipe is increased, dish must be wider but no deeper)
- ½ clove unpeeled garlic
- 4 Tb butter
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Swiss cheese
- 1 cup boiling milk
Rub the baking dish with the cut garlic.
Smear the inside of the dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
Drain the potatoes and dry them in a towel.
Spread half of them in the bottom of the dish.
Divide over them half the salt, pepper, cheese, and butter.
Arrange the remaining potatoes over the first layer, and season them.
Spread on the rest of the cheese and divide the butter over it.
Pour on the boiling milk.
Set baking dish over heat and when simmering, set in upper third of preheated oven.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, milk has been absorbed, and the top is nicely browned. (As the oven is hot, and the dish shallow, the potatoes cook quickly.)
(*) May wait for half an hour, loosely covered, over simmering water. For a longer wait, stop initial cooking just before all milk has evaporated. Set aside uncovered. Shortly before serving, dot with 2 Tb butter, reheat on top of stove, and set in a 425-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes to finish cooking.
I replaced the milk with half and half. You could use cream also. I added freshly grated nutmeg on each layer and put a bit of cayenne. I used a mix of Gruyère (I use Gruyère de grotte) Swiss Emmental and Appenzeler for the cheese. It was very well received!