November 11th, 2008

Dauphinoise Potatoes

Sandy mentioned previously a delicious side that would complement a Chateaubriand or, really, any beef entree.

I love an alternative to my usual potato sides. This recipe for Dauphinoise Potatoes is not only tasty, but truly gorgeous. Here is what it looks like when Sandy prepares it . . .

Dauphinoise Potatoes

Yeah. Spectacular.

You can brush up on your gratin family of potatoes history here. In the meantime, here are Sandy’s step-by-step instructions so we can be JUST LIKE HER . . .

Recipe for Dauphinoise Potatoes:

1 pint heavy cream or half and half
garlic, herbs or flavoring as desired
kosher salt and pepper
6 medium baking potatoes, peeled
2 Tablespoons Butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring cream or half and half to a simmer in a medium saucepan, adding whole peeled and smashed garlic cloves (2 for subtle garlic flavor), herbs such as thyme or rosemary sprigs to flavor the liquid.  When the cream develops small bubbles on the rim of the saucepan remove from heat and set aside until potatoes are prepared. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and several grinds fresh pepper.  Taste the mixture for seasoning.  It should be slightly saltier than you would eat straight (potatoes absorb lots of salt).

With 1 tablespoon of softened butter, grease the potato baking pan(s) generously.  Wash, peel and thinly slice potatoes, preferably using a mandolin-type slicer with a sharp blade.  1/8 in slices are ideal and easy to do with a slicer.  Slice potatoes directly into baking dish.  I used a loaf pan but any pan which will allow the potaoes to cook in a deep layer (ie lots of head room) will work.  Individual tart pans can be used to bake and serve directly.  Toss the raw potatoes with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and some pepper.  Strain the liquid or just remove herbs and garlic.  Add to baking dish, you will probably not need all of the liquid, depending on the size of potatoes, the baking dish and how much reduction of liquid took place.  Potatoes should be nearly covered, but not swimming in cream.

Use plastic wrap to push the potatoes down into the liquid.  Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the potatoes.  Cover pan and plastic wrap with foil and weight the potaoes down with a slighly smaller pan filled with hot water.  Place the baking dish in the oven for 40 minutes.  Carefully remove the water filled pan, the foil and the plastic wrap and continue to bake until the potaoes are tender and the liquid is nearly absorbed.  Some thickened liquid will remain.

If you are serving immediately, place the pan under the broiler and cook until potatoes are golden.

If you are preparing this dish ahead, cover and let cool in refrigerator.  When totally cool, potatoes may be turned out of baking dish onto cutting board and cut with a sharp heavy knife into serving sizes.  Place on well buttered baking pan.  To reheat, place in 450 degree oven until browned and hot throughout.  Serve immediately.

3 Responses to “Dauphinoise Potatoes”

  1. demac Says:

    Can you keep the plastic wrap in the oven at 400 degrees? Seems like it would melt.

  2. Dena P Says:

    Great question! I posed this to Chef Sandy and here is her response:

    I would never broil with plastic wrap, clearly, but using plastic wrap as a bottom layer, with foil on the top when baking has always been OK. Both in cooking school and at the Ritz Carlton where I worked they would double wrap things like this that they wanted to be really sealed well (keeping moisture in). So cover and seal the baking pan with plastic wrap, then make sure that all of the plastic wrap is covered by foil.

    One major caveat- I ONLY use the plastic wrap that you buy at Sam’s Club or Costco, the giant roll that lasts forever. This is the package that weighs about 10 pounds and is 18 or 24 in wide and is Reynolds brand. This is what is used in every professional kitchen I have ever seen. This plastic wrap has never melted on me, but I always put foil on top of the plastic wrap. I would not trust the supermarket brands- I have not tried them and cannot comment, but they don’t seem to perform the same in other respects and I just wouldn’t try it.

    If you want, just double wrap with foil to insure a good seal. Also, you may want to use cooking spray on the layer that will be next to the potatoes, so that they don’t stick.

    Good luck-
    Chef Sandy

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. Paul Johnson Says:

    I would just spray some parchment paper with non stick spray and place that on potatoes then cover the
    parchment paper with foil. That’s how I do it. If the foil touches the potatoes anywhere it will transfer
    to the potatoes. So make sure you cover all the way with parchment paper.