Wednesday, April 13, 2011


One of the wonderful recipes my Mother prepared for her evening of dining pleasure was a dish called Potatoes Dauphinois. Whenever my sister and I saw her come home from the market with a chunk of fresh Gruyere and a bottle of cream, we knew that her delicious potatoes were going to be on the menu that evening. The smell of the potatoes baking was so heady that my sister and I would find ourselves dancing around giddily while the pan cooked, waiting impatiently for the amazing taste of the steaming creamy layers of potatoes and cheese to fill our mouths. The crisp and slightly bitter green salad covered with chopped hard-boiled egg and tomatoes my Mother served with them were the perfect pairing to our minds. I prepare these potatoes and a salad in my Mother’s memory on many of my single celebratory Friday evenings and lift a glass to her photograph as I read my own spicy novel. Bon Appetit!

3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 lbs baking potatoes (about 6 potatoes), peeled and cut into slices 1/8-inch thick
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1 cup half-and-half or milk, heated but not boiled
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Brush a 11-inch x 8-inch baking pan or gratin dish (with at least 2 inches depth on the sides) with 1 Tbsp of the melted butter. Layer half of the potatoes in the dish. Sprinkle with half of the remaining butter, half the garlic and salt and pepper, and half of the cheese. Repeat the layering. Pour the heated milk or cream over the top of the layered potatoes. Let stand for 2 minutes.
Place in the preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are tender. Serve immediately.