09 September 2011

Gratin Dauphinois

Graftin Dauphinois

For this weeks 50 Women Game Changers in Food, we were cooking from the recipe repertoire of Elizabeth David.  She changed the way post World-War II Britain viewed food.  After she returned from living in Egypt and Cairo, back to England she once commented,
"There was flour and water soup seasoned solely with pepper; bread and gristle rissoles; dehydrated onions and carrots; corned beef toad in the hole. I need not go on."
I am glad to report that when I lived in England, the cuisine has improved from her initial review.  

Graftin Dauphinois

I picked a simple recipe of hers, Gratin Dauphinois

Or so I thought.

The problem lies in that the potato is to be cut into very thin slices, generally easy to do if you have a mandolin.  Unfortunately, mine has seen better days and I ended up cutting them by hand.

Note to self, when going to the kitchen supply store (like I do practically weekly) pick up a good quality mandolin.

Graftin Dauphinois

I have made this recipe in many different variations, but there are a few specific things that are a bit different from them and Elizabeth's.  The most important being the baking ware it is cooked in itself -- earthenware.

So here is the recipe, I have modified it to good old English units of measurement.  I apologize in advance for those of you who are now going to promptly recalculated back to the metric system.  I also apologize because although this is just pure yumminess, between the butter and cream your belt will have to be expanded just a tad.

Graftin Dauphinois

The Shopping List:
  • 1 lb yellow potatoes
  • 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
  • A little butter for greasing
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 oz.  heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup butter for topping
The Method:

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Peel the yellow potatoes, and slice them into very thin strips.  This is where the mandolin would come in handy, about 1/16th of an inch.  Run the potatoes under cool water, and get all the excess water off, best to let them sit on a towel.

Season a shallow earthenware dish by rubbing the garlic clove into the surface.  The shallower you layer the potatoes, the better.  They are more likely to all crisp up this way.  Then butter the dish.  Layer the dried potato slices onto the dish.  Pour in the heavy cream, and top with a dash of salt and pepper.  Place small pieces of butter speratically across the top.

Place the dish into the oven and cook for 90 minutes.  In the last ten minutes, bring the temperature up to 425°F to get that beautiful golden brown top. 

Graftin Dauphinois

These other amazing bloggers are also indulging in one of Elizabeth's recipes this week.  Please check them out:

19 comments:

  1. Ooooh, potato gratin is seriously one of the best comfort foods ever! This looks really delicious...so warm and rich and yummy. Love your pictures of it!

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  2. Your photos are absolutely stunning! And might I mention that Dauphinois Potatoes are one of my favorite dishes!?

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  3. That first photo might just be the most beautiful gratin picture I have ever seen!

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  4. I just love this dish. It's so delicious and decadent!

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  5. This recipe sounds easy! Looks also great! I like potato dishes.. :)

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  6. mmm i looove potato gratin!!!!
    You know what i do? i boil the potatoes in milk for a few minutes and this saves some oven- time when i´m in a hurry....

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  7. YUM,,,great and simple recipe,i will save this recipe,buzzed ya :)
    Ridwan

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  8. What a beautifully decadent dish to make in memory of Elizabeth David! Love your photos.

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  9. This is such a classic dish and perfect to highlight one of the masters.I was happy to discover her on the list of 50 Game Changers.

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  10. Your potato gratin looks so gourmet and tasty!

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  11. Hi Martha, I am totally with you if I need to get it done quickly. I think Elizabeth was trying to make sure the garlic and butters meld with the seasoning.

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  12. This looks really yummy! Good thing I seldom wear a belt :)

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  13. I have several Elisabeth David's books and have read her biography. She seems a very impressive and impressing lady, I like the lack of politically correct and her black and white approach to food or food habits. Even reading her recipes is like a breath of fresh air.
    My gratin dauphinois recipe is quite similar (though found ina French chef's book). I am so relieved to see there is no cheese (it's a virus spreading as quick as pasta alla carbonara with cream or Hungarian Paprika Chicken with... tomatoes...). Your gratin looks perfect!

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  14. Pure yumminess indeed! I absolutely love anything with cream and potatoes. I would have to go on one long run after this, but it would be so worth it!

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  15. Mmm, yummy. I definitely need a mandolin, too, just don't know where to store it!

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  16. Elizabeth David is my favorite food writer / on a cross country trip with a friend who did the driving i read out loud from "Is There A Nutmeg in the House?" / and since then have made more than once her recipe for spiced lamb stuffed into apples from that book /
    now for the potatoes and cream !

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  17. i meant to include my name : Katherine for the anonymous comment

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  18. Holy deliciousness. There's nothing better than potatoes cooked and baked cheese and milk.

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