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Old 02-09-2004, 03:05 PM   #1
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Gratin Dauphinois

Here is my favorite recipe - I had it this way at a restaurant called The Pheonix in Wilmington, North Carolina. I just adapted what I had in their recipe to my own recipe. And, of course, you do not have to use the tomatoes if you don't want, and you can substitute the Gruyere for any cheese your heart desires or you can leave the cheese out. (Blue cheese is a nice alternative also).


4 large Idaho Potatoes peeled and sliced paper-thin (a mandolin works great for this)
2 - 3 large garlic cloves (however much you like)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
2 pints whipping cream (or combination half and half and whipping cream)
sliced tomatoes (as many as it takes to make a single layer in middle of potatoes)
Couple dashes of nutmeg (optional)
I have also added some cayenne pepper to this along with some chopped green chilies for a whole different theme!!

Potatoes should be sliced at the last minute so that they do not darken; (do not soak in cold water). Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Heat slowly the cream mixture with some salt and pepper and the cloves of garlic. Heat very slowly so the garlic flavor is released into the liquid. This cream mixture needs to be "over" salted and peppered because it will be seasoning the entire batch of potatoes. If you are unsure how much to put in do put more than normal in and then season the layers of potatoes a little as you put them in the pan.

Begin by rubbing the bottom and sides of a gratin dish (rectangle casserole/baker works fine) with the cut sides of the garlic (then add these to the cream mixture to heat).

Place layers of sliced potatoes on the bottom half, pouring a small amount of cream mixture and salting and peppering each layer (unless you know you over-salted the cream mxiture already) until you reach the middle of the pan.

On the very middle layer add your layer of sliced tomatoes and the Gruyere cheese.

Then finish the top half by again layering the potato slices, adding a little cream mixture and salting and peppering the different layers if necessary.

Pour the remaining cream mixture over entire pan, tapping gently to release any air bubbles and helping the cream mixture reach all the layers.

Place the pan, uncovered in the oven. (Put a baking sheet underneath to catch spills.)

Bake for 1 hour or more, until the top is browned and the cream has cooked down to a thick sauce. During the first 1/2 hour of cooking, using a broad spatula, push the top layers of potatoes into the cream every once in a while to ensure they don't dry out.

Let dish cool for about 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve hot, at room temperature or cold, or just send it to me - :P

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Old 11-16-2004, 03:00 PM   #2
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I had to bump this one up, boys and girls! While scavenging through the wealth of information left here long before I arrived, I found this one from Elf, much to my delight!

This is so simple, sooo good with Gruyere, to which I am admittedly addicted. There were NO leftovers of this one last night and my dear husband immediately commented on how nice this potato dish would be for Thanksgiving....hint, hint!!!

Thank you, Elf!
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Old 11-16-2004, 03:32 PM   #3
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Glad you liked it Audeo - yes, this dish is quite addictive - you have a tendency to get just "one more" bite - and you one bite it to death until it is almost gone!!!! I fixed a similar version one Thanksgiving and everyone had a dang heart attack because I didn't do mashed potatoes!!!!! :P I might make a smaller amount of mashed potatoes - then on Friday when people drop by for leftovers I may have these - just depends on how bad my body hurts from cooking the 2 days prior! LOL

I really want some now - next summer get your hands on some heirloom tomatoes (or any good tomato) and place slices of those with the Gruyere - you will LOVE it!
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Old 11-16-2004, 04:18 PM   #4
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Heirloom tomatoes? Yum! And I happen to have a dear neighbor whose plants are still producing some of the ugliest, tastiest tomatoes on the planet!

Thank you for that suggestion!
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Old 11-16-2004, 07:32 PM   #5
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I'm so glad you bumped this, Audeo - KE, it looks awesome, and leads me to a question/problem I have with any potato au gratin dish.

The potatoes don't cook through, and if I crank the heat up in the oven, the cream curdles.

Made them one time with a ?David Rosengarten recipe, where he parcooked the potatoes in the cream, and that worked; but I just see so many recipes that start with the potatoes raw.

Info about how I do my dish - potatoes sliced wafer thin on a mandoline, so I don't think the thickness of the slice is the problem.

Brand new oven, calibration checked and okay!

The only thing I can think is that maybe I'm putting too many layers in? I don't really have a recipe in front of me, just layer as much as I have room for.

Any and all ideas will be muchoo appreciated! I'm thinking of a potato/cheddar gratin for post-Christmas dinner with DH's family, along with a ham.
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Old 11-16-2004, 07:42 PM   #6
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mmmm....... let me just start "talking" through this....

When I make mine I make sure there is enough cream mixture to completely come up to the top of the potatoes. I think I remember one time mine taking forever to cook too but I'm not sure why. And you're right, you can't crank the heat up! What I would be tempted to do at the point where you realize they are not cooked totally is cover with some foil.

If I didn't have a mandoline I don't think I would even make this dish - so I know your potatoes are thin enough. Do you remember how long you cook the dish? If I were going to make a 9 x 13 pan full of these I would guess at almost 2 hours cooking time. Make sure you heat the cream mixture before pouring over potatoes.

Does any of this sound different that what you do?

Reference your post-Christmas meal - One of my favorite meals is to make this but put either kielbasa or ham slices in the middle along with the cheese.

Audeo - heirloom tomatoes certainly fall in the "ugly" category!! LOL
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Old 11-16-2004, 11:42 PM   #7
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This is a great recipe, I used to featured it at a resaurant I worked at. Make sure the potatoes are paper thin, and I usually covered ithe pan with foil.
Also...very important to keep the temp low.
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Old 11-16-2004, 11:50 PM   #8
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Erik - I just assume that by stressing use of the mandoline I implied paper thin - thanks. Afterall - a mandoline can slice thick too - so thanks for mentioning that - that could be the problem. I have never covered mine but then again I like the ones on top that turn color - I think covering will definately help get them done for marmalady.
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Old 11-17-2004, 05:52 AM   #9
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Have tried covering the dish, too - and the potato slices are thin enough to see through! I've let the dish go for as long as 1 1/2 hours - maybe I was too impatient?

If you top with a layer of cheese, do you folks add the cheese when it goes in the oven, or maybe a half hour or so before it's done? What's happening is that my top cheese layer is all browned, but the potatoes underneath are still 'al dente'!

KE, I'd love to put ham or sausage in it, but this will be a 'blended' dinner, with meat eaters and vegetarians - sigh.

And heirloom tomatoes - love 'em! Grew some in Jersey, and tried to here in SC, but they just didn't do well. The 'ugly' Italian ones are my faves!
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Old 11-17-2004, 11:03 AM   #10
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Hmmmm.... I don't have a mandolin...YET! I just used my cuisinart and sliced them into about 1/8-inch slices, which would be quite thick by your discussions here. I used a gravy ladle to schmear the cream sauce over the layers. I did cover the dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil for the first hour, then removed, then added a wee bit more gruyere and cooked for another half hour perhaps. It came out uniformly tender and cooked within and only the top was "crunchy" from the browned cheese.

Well thank heavens! I obviously got lucky here!!! And it was my turn, too!!!
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