Gratin dauphinoise

The traditional regional French dish based on potatoes and crème fraiche which originated in the historic Dauphine region in south-eastern France is the inspiration for my version of Gratin dauphinoise.

Gratin dauphinoise

Gratin is a culinary technique in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter. The biggest difference between the traditional Gratin dauphinoise and my version is the crème fraiche. It’s not readily available near me and so I use half and half instead.

Gratin dauphinoise is a rich, cheesy dish that elevates the usual potatoes au gratin.

I know some people who only make any kind of au gratin potatoes at the holidays. But Gratin dauphinoise is not hard to make so I serve it when I want a silky, indulgent potato dish.

I start by slicing about 6 or 7 potatoes very thin. It’s easy to get the paper-thin slices I want using a mandolin slicer. My slicing skills aren’t as precise as I’d like so using my mandolin means my potatoes are uniform and will cook evenly. I don’t even peel the potatoes! Heck, most of the nutrition is in the peels any way and not peeling them saves me time. After slicing, I put the potatoes into a buttered 9 x 13 inch casserole dish I’ve buttered.

Gratin dauphinoise

Then I dice a medium onion.

Gratin dauphinoise

Next I melt 1/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion. I cook the onions for about 2 minutes. They should be tender but not soft.

When the onions are tender I stir in a tablespoon of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and about 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. I stir this constantly until the flour is combined with the onions and butter.

Gratin dauphinoise

Now for the ingredients that make this dish so rich!

I slowly stir in 2 cups of half and half and 1 1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese. Stirring constantly I bring the mixture to a boil.

Gratin dauphinoiseGratin dauphinoise

After pouring the cheese sauce over the potatoes and I bake them at 375 degrees for about an hour; until the potatoes are tender.

Gratin dauphinoise

I take the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and sprinkle it over the potatoes then I melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and mix it with 1 cup of plain Panko breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Gratin dauphinoise

When the breadcrumbs are moistened I spread them over the potatoes and put the casserole back in the oven for about 15 – 18 minutes. I want the breadcrumbs to be a nice golden brown.

Gratin dauphinoise makes me feel I’m serving something a step above potatoes au gratin.

Gratin dauphinoise

Gratin dauphinoise

Gratin dauphinoise

Gratin dauphinoise

Gratin dauphinoise is a rich, silky potato dish that's a step above ordinary potatoes au gratin!

Ingredients

  • 6 – 7 medium baking potatoes
  • 1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided + more for buttering dish
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash potatoes but don’t peel them.
  3. Slice into very thin slices (about 1/8 inch).
  4. In a large saucepan over medium heat melt 1/4 cup of the butter.
  5. Add the diced onion to the butter and cook until just tender (about 2 minutes).
  6. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly until the flour is combined with the onions and butter.
  7. Slowly stir in half and half and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese.
  8. Heat until boiling, stirring constantly.
  9. Spread the sliced potatoes in an ungreased 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.
  10. Pour the hot cheese sauce over potatoes.
  11. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  12. Meanwhile, melt remaining butter.
  13. Mix melted butter with Panko breadcrumbs and garlic powder until breadcrumbs are moistened.
  14. Remove potatoes from oven and spread remaining cheese over them.
  15. Top with breadcrumb mixture.
  16. Return to oven and bake for an additional 15 – 18 minutes (until breadcrumbs are golden brown and cheese is bubbling through).
  17. Serve hot.

Notes

Leave the potatoes unpeeled to save time and add nutrition.

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