I had one of those I’m a total dork Aha! moments recently: the slicer on a grater/slicer can be used for more than skinning your knuckles and slicing cheese. In fact, it’s really excellent at slicing vegetables thinly. Who knew?
Now I can make a perfect Gratin Dauphinois, one of the dishes the DauphinÃ© (the region I live in) is known for. While that may sound fancy, it’s really just scalloped potatoes Ã la franÃ§aise. But when have you ever gone wrong with potatoes and cream?
Start with a large quantity of good boiling potatoes (the white ones, not the russets). You will need one large potato per person, plus one for the pot. Slice them paper thin with your slicer and then boil them in half milk, half water for ten minutes maximum. They should be almost cooked, not quite.
While the potatoes are cooking, butter the bottom and sides of a large casserole dish. Rub the sides and bottom with cut cloves of fresh garlic. If you don’t have fresh garlic then omit this step; don’t substitute anything else for goodness sakes!
After the potatoes are cooked almost all the way through, drain them and arrange them in the casserole dish as meticulously and prettily as you wish (I usually just dump them in). Pour enough cream to cover half way up the potatoes and then add a smidgen of milk. If you choose, you can sprinkle with nutmeg, but it’s not necessary.
Bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes. I like to stir the potatoes halfway through. You can also omit the first step of boiling the potatoes in milk and water, if you use enough milk and cream to cover the potatoes and you cook the casserole in a covered dish like this one. Delicious served with roast chicken and green beans!
There are oodles of variations on this dish, but this is the one that I like best; simple potatoes and cream with a crusty top and bottom. How can you go wrong?