Daily Archives: 12 November 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Potato Gratin

Photos are one way of sharing my kitchen experiments. For this recipe, I wish there were a technology that allowed me to share the aroma in my kitchen. It was truly amazing. Imagine the scent of browning cheese laced with the fragrance of the garlic-infused cream. Is your mouth watering?

For this week, I chose to make Pommes Dauphinois (in French) or Potato Gratin (in English). In other words, cheesy potatoes baked in cream. It sounds rich, and it delivered. There are only the two of us, so I (briefly) considered making half the recipe, especially because it said “Serves 8”. In the end, I went for decadence and made the full recipe. It was the right choice.

As delicious as it tasted, this is more of a weekend dish that a weeknight. By the time the potatoes made it into the oven, it was getting a bit late for dinner. We opted for chicken and rice leftovers from the refrigerator while the potatoes baked. Sticking with the decadence theme, we actually ate a helping of potatoes for dessert. Saying it’s a weekend dish has to do with the time. Other than the richness, this is not special occasion food, though it could be. It’s hearty family food too.

I made this recipe more or less as written. The only tweaks I made were to scatter a few sprigs of fresh thyme over the top, and add a smidge of gorgonzola to the Gruyere. I used the 2 mm blade on my food processor to make really thin potato slices. I was a little short on heavy cream, so made up the difference with half-and-half. I didn’t top off with any additional cream or milk.

Last night, we had the potatoes again with baked pork chops. It would have been even better with roasted chicken (maybe Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux which I hope to make this weekend). “Serves 8” means we’ll be eating this dish for another few days. That gives me a chance to come up with something else simple to go with it. A green salad will be a must too, to cut the richness.

I also made another half batch of the pumpkin-gorgonzola flans to use up the other half of the can of pumpkin. This time I added more salt, used skim milk (I used up all the cream in the potatoes) and topped it with maple-glazed walnuts instead of plain. Last week, I said these grew on me one by one, but revisiting them, I’m thinking they’re better as an idea than a reality and probably won’t make them again.

On the other hand, I’ll definitely make the Potato Gratin again. Thanksgiving anyone?

You can visit French Fridays with Dorie to see what others are cooking up this week.