I have a friend who is obsessed with potatoes. I mean sure, I love potatoes but MB is on the brink of pathological obsession. And when I started this blog I promised I would post about some potato recipes in honour of that obsession - so here is yet another potato-based recipe for you, MB.
Potatoes are fantastic on their own - but combine them with cheese and cream and you've got a whole different story. I love potato gratin for the crunchy cheese layer on top and the creamy (and still cheesy!) layers hidden underneath. It gave me great satisfaction to pull this out of the oven to reveal a golden layer of cheese and potato... and suddenly all the pain from grating cheese and slicing potatoes with a knife disappeared.
I've tried a couple of different gratin recipes and this is the one that has been most consistently successful with just the right amount of cream and milk to be absorbed by the potatoes in the cooking process. This means that you don't get a puddle of liquid left at the bottom after you take the layers of potatoes out and instead you have nice creamy sauce to go with the potatoes. Delish!
Gratin Dauphinois (Serves 6)
Recipe adapted from A Little Taste of France by Maria Villegas and Sarah Randell
1kg floury potatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
75g grated Gruyère cheese
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 170ºC. Thinly slice the potatoes to about 3-4mm thickness (a mandolin would be extremely helpful, although I managed to do it rather tediously with a knife).
2. Grease an oven dish with butter and layer the potatoes, sprinkling garlic, cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper between each layer (remember to leave some cheese for the top). Pour the cream and milk over the layers and top with remaining cheese.
3. Bake for 60 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed. If the cheese starts to brown too much then cover the dish with foil. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.