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.
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.
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.
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
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.
These other amazing bloggers are also indulging in one of Elizabeth's recipes this week. Please check them out:
Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Kathleen -Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island
Barbara - Movable Feasts
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Amy - Beloved Green
Jeanette - Healthy Living
Linda - Ciao Chow Linda
Linda A - There and Back Again