Le Gratin Dauphinois – Cooking Experiment #4

December 9, 2013 § 2 Comments

One of the common challenge that vegetarians face is eating out. You have to always make sure that there is a vegetarian dish on the menu (an overly priced salad for instance) if you want to spend some good time with your friends. When invited over a dinner you have to tell the hosts in advance that they will have to do some extra cooking for the herbivorous human being they invited to their house. I had a similar problem this weekend when I was invited for a late Thanksgiving Dinner.

The theme was Thanksgiving, definitely there was turkey sitting in the middle of table. But I couldn’t tell the hosts this time because this time the guests cooked some traditional Thanksgiving dishes and bought them to the venue. Now how am I supposed to let the twenty guests know that I don’t eat meat or fish ad they will have to cook something special, and I only know half of them. For sure not a good idea. But I wanted to go to this dinner and see my friends and discover the American tradition of Thanksgiving.

I came up with a slightly better idea. I cooked Gratin Dauphinois but a little more so that I can eat more of it with possibly some salad and sweet potato purée which I knew will be on the menu. And of course, there was no scarcity of desserts. Everything went according to the plan except that when I went to take a second helping of my gratin, it was all gone! I should have been happy as people really liked it and in a way I was. So I ate more desserts to fuel my stomach and thus fulfilled the Thanksgiving tradition of getting food coma the next morning.

Turning to the recipe now, which is quite simple. As for the photos, they are not at all good because I couldn’t serve the dish before taking it to the hosts’ house and there I was too busy catching up with friends to even consider photographing and showing off that I made a delicious gratin.

Cooking Le Gratin Dauphinois for Six Servings

What do we need?

  • 1.5 kgs Potatoes
  • 50 cl Full Cream
  • 5-6 tbsps Full Cream Milk
  • 100 gms grated Cheese (Emmental, Comte or Gruyère)
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter

Here’s how to cook the gratin

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices of 5 mm thickness(not too fine and not too thick).
  2. Take an oven dish and rub the garlic clove all over. (If you like garlic, you can also boil it with the cream).
  3. Butter up the base of the oven dish well.
  4. Pre-heat the oven at 200-220 degree Celsius.
  5. Start placing the potato slices until you get a layer. Pour the cream and add salt and pepper. Continuing layering and pouring cream until the potato slices finish.
  6. On the top most layer pour the milk. Cover well the dish with aluminium foil.
  7. Put the dish it the oven for at least one and a half hour.
  8. Remove the foil and check whether the potatoes are soft and the cream has cooked up well. If not, then cook for a few minutes more.
  9. Spread the cheese on top and put the uncovered dish again in the oven until the top layer becomes golden brown and crispy.

And voilà, the gratin is ready for serving as a side dish or a main, as you wish to gorge on this yummy dish.

It was hard to not eat it right at that moment.

It was hard to not eat it right at that moment.

Without the cheese layer on top, this is the traditional way of making le gratin dauphinois. A healthier version would be with other vegetables like carrots, courgettes, bell-peppers or whatever your imagination lets you think of.

Bon appétit!


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