Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gratin Dauphinois ~ Scalloped Potatoes

Gratin Dauphinois ~ Scalloped Potatoes
4 small servings *
Recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc.

As shared by Once Upon a Plate

Scant 3 tablespoons butter
2 , 3 or 4 whole potatoes, depending on size (May use Russet, Yukon, etc.) *
About 1 cup half & half
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or fleur de sel
Sprinkles of white pepper
A few gratings of freshly grated nutmeg
about 2 ounces Gruyère, or Jarlsberg, grated
Thyme leaves, minced parsley, or minced chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F

For easy clean-up, line a shallow baking pan (jelly roll pan works great), with foil or parchment.

Butter 4 small ramekins, pour a bit of cream into each dish.

With a mandolin slice the potatoes into thin slices (about 1/16-inch thick). A mandoline does a quick, efficient job.

Arrange a firmly packed layer of of potatoes on bottom of each ramekin.

Place cream in a small pan, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter and the smashed clove of garlic, heat until very hot, reduce heat to low and allow to steep to bring out the flavor of the garlic. Stir in the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Swirl the pan to distribute the seasonings, then remove the garlic clove.

Arrange another layer of potatoes in the ramekins, sprinkle a little cheese, and pour hot cream over. Arrange another layer of potatoes on top. Sprinkle a thin layer of Gruyère. (Altogether 2 to 3 layers of potatoes. firmly and evenly packed.)

Pour the rest of the seasoned cream on each dish, until is just comes to the level of the top layer of potatoes. Sprinkle with a thin layer of cheese, top with little dots of butter.

Place ramekins on the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 25 to 40 minutes. Time will depend upon the size and depth of the ramekins. (Check for tenderness with the tip of a knife.) The tops should be beautifully browned.

Sprinkle with suggested garnish and serve immediately.

* Note: The ramekins in these photos are quite small, about 5-inches in diameter; 6 ounce (3/4-cup) capacity.

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