The Perfect Pommes Dauphinoise!

There are people coming for supper and you want the perfect prepare in advance meal. Picture this... you're getting together to plan your winter skiing holiday and want to get in the mood...or perhaps you're snuggled up in the Alps and sharing the catering. Pommes Dauphinoise is the perfect option. You can prepare it in advance and enjoy the wonderful blended aromas of slowly cooking potatoes, cheese and creamy sauce whilst enjoying the company of your friends and family safe in the knowledge that a major part of the meal is all ready for you.

Light the candles, put on some cool or cosy music and prepare to chop a few spuds - a simple recipe for all. And if you've been skiing all day, well it's practically calorie free (ahem!)

Named after the Dauphine region of France, close to the border with Italy, this is an accompaniment even the best chefs are happy to have grace their tables.

The jury is out as to whether it is best to use waxy or fluffy potatoes, or to add a lot or just whiff of garlic. Some people add cheese, others sprinkle it on the top and some leave it out altogether. Call us greedy, but we prefer cheese in and on!

But our top tip is soak the baking dish fairly soon after you've devoured the contents. We hear in hotels and accommodation all over the Alps this dish is the one of the least favourites of the kitchen staff to clean up!

You will need for 4 people:

750grams Maris Piper potatoes (or waxy potatoes if you prefer.) 250mls double cream, 100mls semi-skimmed milk, 50grams Cheddar grated, 2 small cloves of garlic - one crushed, dusting of grated nutmeg, butter to grease the dish, 50grams Gruyere grated, salt and pepper to taste.

1. Peel the potatoes and cut finely - by hand, processor or by mandolin. 

2. Heat oven to gas mark 3 or 160 C.

3. Bring the following to a slow boil in a saucepan - cream, milk, crushed garlic, grated Cheddar and nutmeg.

4. Season and add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes - not long enough to cook the potatoes thoroughly.

5. Grease a gratin dish and wipe the remaining garlic clove halved around the surface of the dish.

6. Place the potatoes and sauce into the gratin dish and level out. This can be neat or higgeldy piggeldy. It's up to you! All tastes the same either way!

7. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes.

8. Remove foil, add the remaining cheese and allow to brown for 15 minutes. 

9. If preparing this in advance, at this stage recover with a fresh piece of foil or baking sheet making sure it does not touch the surface of your browned cheese and keep in a very low oven.



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