Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Potato Gratin or Gratin Dauphinois

Autumn happened early this year, we've had a couple of months of gray skies, rain, temperatures around 10-15 °C and general misery. It's not been all bad, though. There's been some mushroom hunting, a Swedish crayfish party (kräftskiva), and some really good stews in equally good company. Not to mention the beer tastings.

Okay, all in all, it's been alright. But it has been autumn, and with the colder weather comes a longing for hearty, filling comfort food, and what comforts better than a potato gratin?

Potato gratin is a dish with a bad reputation among the health freaks, so we opted to call it a gratin dauphinois. That's French, and as everyone knows, mediterranean cooking is very healthy indeed. We have a serious attitude about healthy food here at Butter & Beans, what with our family histories of heart disease and all.

Potato Gratin Dauphinois

800 g floury potatoes
3 cloves of garlic
300 ml whipping cream
50 g butter
150 g cheese that melts nicely (cheddar, gruyère, emmentaler)
salt, black pepper

Slice your potatoes to a thickness of about 1 cm. Finely chop the garlic.

Place them in a large pot, or even better a large oven proof cooking vessel which can also be used on the stove.

Season with a generous amount of salt and black pepper, and mix well.

Now get your cream. This Swedish whipping cream is only 40 % fat...

... so make sure you get it all in there. Don't worry, this will be our secret. Your personal trainer does not need to know.

Add a few knobs of butter (this too will be between just you and me), and place on a plate. Bring to the boil, then quickly lower the temperature, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are just about done, and the cream has thickened. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200 °C / 390 °F. During the last couple of minutes, melt most of the cheese into the mixture.

If you didn't have an oven and stove proof dish, now is the time to transfer everything to an oven dish. Then, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and bake until a nice golden crust has formed.

This is a delicious side dish for a pot roast, or steak. It also goes great with lamb (add some rosemary!), which is especially nice during the autumn.

Like I said earlier, we take healthy food seriously here, so we gathered up a panel of some of the finest cardiologists in a nation, and asked them what they thought of our gratin. The results? This:


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