Creamy, cheesy, and downright delicious, I haven’t met a person that doesn’t love dauphinoise. This classic French dish is easy to prepare and pairs well with any main dish from standing prime rib roast to glazed ham. It is a must have on your Christmas or New Year’s Eve table or any other special occasion dinner.
In French, the name dauphinoise means a casserole of potatoes. It originated in the Dauphiné region of France where every home cook has their own version of this delicious dish. We sold my version of “casserole of potatoes” in the chef-prepared, home-meal replacement section of Carol Ann’s delis in Steele’s Markets.
The secret to preparing dauphinoise is slicing the potatoes no more than ⅛-inch thick. You can use a food processor to slice the potatoes, but I much prefer doing it by hand with a mandolin. Be sure to simmer the potatoes slices gently on the stove for a few minutes in heavy cream and milk. This helps ensures the potatoes are cooked through. It is important to let the dish sit for 15 minutes before you serve it. This allows the milk and cream to set; otherwise, you will have a gooey mess when you dish it up. The French make this dish with Gruyere cheese which has a rich, sweet, nutty flavor. Gruyere can be a bit pricey, so if you are pinching pennies, you can substitute the Gruyere with Swiss. My recipe calls for 4 ounces of Gruyere; but I always add a bit more. I prefer using Yukon gold potatoes for this recipe because of their creamy texture and buttery flavor. The Yukon gold is a cross between the North American white potato and the wild South American, yellow-fleshed potato. If you can’t find Yukon golds, use russet or long white potatoes.
Sending my best wishes to you and yours for a very Merry Christmas!
Dauphinoise Serves 8
1 tablespoon butter 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled 2 cups milk 1 ½ cups heavy cream 2 teaspoons minced garlic ¾ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground white pepper 4 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese, or to taste 3 tablespoons butter Parsley, chopped, for garnish Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 3-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Using a food processor or a mandolin, slice potatoes ⅛-inch thick and place in a large saucepan or kettle. Add milk, heavy cream, garlic, salt, and white pepper and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potato slices into the prepared baking dish, arranging the slices in an even layer. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Add the remaining potato slices on top of the cheese, again arranging in an even layer. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes and top with the remaining cheese. Dot with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Set the baking dish on a rimmed cookie sheet, place it in the oven, and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 30 more minutes. Potatoes are done when golden brown, or when the tip of a knife inserted in the center pierces the potatoes easily and comes out clean. Allow the dish to sit 15 minutes before serving.
Garnish with parsley if desired.
Tips on shopping for potatoes: Select ﬁrm, smooth, clean potatoes that have few eyes and good color. Potatoes should be blemish-free. Russets should have a net-like textured skin, oval shape, and brown color. Irregular-shaped potatoes produce more waste when peeling. Do not buy potatoes with wrinkled or wilted skin, sprouts, or cut surfaces. Avoid potatoes with soft, dark spots.
Tips on storing potatoes: Potatoes will keep up to 2 weeks when stored in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. Prolonged exposure to light will turn potatoes green. Green potatoes contain solanine, which has a bitter ﬂavor and can be toxic if eaten in large quantities. When stored at temperatures below 40 degrees F, potatoes become sweeter.
Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Insider Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at CarolAnn@CarolAnnKates.com and explore her website, www.CarolAnnKates.com.
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