06.03.2011 30.Adar l, 5771
Potato casseroles – the creamy versus the cheesy.
The first time I tasted gratin dauphinois, made basically of potatoes baked in cream, the dish was so delicious that I wasn't surprised that people in France like to say that the potato was created in order to be made into this dish.
At cooking school in Paris I was glad to learn that this potato gratin is not complicated to prepare. Some recipes call for baking the potatoes directly in cream, or in a mixture of cream and milk, with salt, pepper and a generous amount of freshly grated nutmeg as the only seasonings. Master Chef Fernand Chambrette taught me that the best way to prepare the potatoes is to simmer them in milk before baking them in cream; this way the potatoes cook more evenly. The only other flavorings come from rubbing the baking dish with a garlic clove, and sprinkling the mixture lightly with grated Gruyere cheese before baking. The cheese makes a light crust but the overall character of the dish is creamy, not cheesy, nutmeg-flavored potatoes….