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Recipe: Potatoes Dauphinoise

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Potatoes Dauphinoise
Dave Scantland
Potatoes Dauphinoise differs from a typical gratin in that it's topped with cheese instead of breadcrumbs. This is a very rich side dish for two; pair it with simple grilled chicken or pork tenderloin, or add an extra potato and make it into a vegetarian main dish.

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes (approximately two medium potatoes)
  • 2 or 3 small sprigs of herbs, such as rosemary, parsley or fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Several grinds of white pepper
  • Pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ounce Emmenthal or Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

Preparation:

1. Butter a small gratin dish (or other shallow baking dish) and preheat the oven to 400˚F.

2. Peel or scrub the potatoes, and slice them very thin. (A mandoline or V-slicer is useful for this.)

3. Place the slices in a small saute pan, spreading out into a single layer as much as possible. Top with the herbs and sprinkle with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour the cream over, adding more if necessary just to cover the potato slices. Over medium heat, bring the cream to a simmer, and adjust the heat to keep it simmering, but not boiling. Cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes, just until tender. Stir the potatoes very gently once or twice while they're cooking.

4. When the potatoes are tender, remove the herb sprigs. Using a large slotted spoon or spatula, take the potato slices out of the cream and place them in the buttered gratin. Depending on whether you added extra cream, the cream should be quite thick. If not, continue to simmer the cream until it thickens. If it's too thick to pour, add a bit more cream, then pour over the potatoes.

5. Sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes in a thin, even layer. (You can make the dish ahead to this point if desired.) Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bubbling and browned on top. (If you make the dish ahead of time, it will require more time in the oven.)

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