Monday, December 8, 2008

You say Potato, I say Dauphinois

When I talked to my sister-in-law over Thanksgiving, one thing she said is that I should try to do more recipes that anyone can do.  I like that idea, and I think I will listen.  However, that being said, the recipes that I may do may not always be "easy" or "quick" but they will be good, and everyone will think you are a genius for making them.  Well, maybe not a genius but a good cook none the less.  

Over Thanksgiving I made a potato dish.  I was calling it one thing but really it is another.  They are called Dauphinois potatoes, which is French, and really, I would never call them that when serving them to someone from Indiana, or Kentucky for that matter, which is where we were.  If someone who knew very little about cooking terms was eating them they may think that they were "scalloped potatoes" which is fine because that is really very close to what we are going to make.

Now, let me say, throw out any notion of what you may think of when you hear the phrase "scalloped potato."  If you are like my wife the image of a nasty box mix enters your mind and you refuse to allow your husband to make them for you.  This is not that.  It is a million times better and you will love it.  If your spouse or significant other does not want you to make Scalloped Potatoes then don't.  Tell them you are making Dauphinois potatoes (pronounced dôfinˈwä).  If they say that they don't like Dauphinois potatoes tell them to kiss off, or just make them without them knowing, they will thank you for it.

First find a casserole dish or baking dish of your choice, depending on the size crowd you are feeding.  I have made this in sizes ranging from a bread pan to large hotel pan.  If you are cooking for a crowd at home you can go with a large casserole dish.  

Take about 6 potatoes, more or less depending on size and amount needed.  Slice all of the potatoes thinly.  Try to slice them so that they are all close to the same thickness so that they cook evenly.  In your casserole dish, coat the bottom with a small amount of olive oil, or butter.   Layer some of the potatoes about three layers high.  Season with salt and pepper, not a ton, and also spread a layer of swiss cheese.  The swiss can be shredded or sliced.  Also, if you are feeling adventurous you can also sprinkle some cheddar cheese.  When done with this step, repeat it.  And repeat until you reach the top of your baking dish.  

When you reach the top of your dish with potatoes.  Stop.  Do not put cheese on the top of your dish, but leave the top layer as just potatoes.  At this point you are going to add heavy cream.  You will probably need about a pint of cream (again, more or less depending on how much you are making).  Pour the cream over the entire mixture of potatoes.  You will add enough not to cover the entire batch of potatoes, but probably about half of them.

  Bake in a preheated oven of 375 degrees for about an hour.  Note, if you want you can use Cheddar cheese entirely in place of swiss as well.  I have done it in a pinch.  But don't do it just because you are afraid of the taste of swiss by itself, because you won't taste that traditional "swiss" taste.

The potatoes are done when you can insert a knife through the potatoes with little resistance.  Also, the top will be a nice golden brown.  Enjoy.  

5 lb bag Russet potatoes
Olive Oil
1 lb swiss cheese (this will probably be more than you need)
Cheddar cheese (optional)
Pint Heavy Cream


Anonymous said...

I'll give it a shot brother! It was good to see you at Crossings a few weeks back. Glad you're doing well. - jason

lilmack3562 said...

Great recipe Derek! Thanks for coming down to us "regular" people's level! Enjoyed spending time with you guys!
-your sister-in-law :cD

Betsy said...

ooo, this sounds good and easy! just the way i like em...and also the way i like my men! that's a joke. thanks!

Melanie & Wes said...

I want to give these a shot. Hmm. They sound yummy!

Anonymous said...

did it. forgot about salt and pepper though. turned out pretty good. believe it or not, I had NEVER before used heavy whipping cream, ever. and actually, I liked these better reheated the next day...not sure why, it was just better.