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Gratin Dauphinois

This is so often served in restaurants as a gooey sludge that seems to have hung around too long. But home-made, straight from the oven, it is truly one of the great classics. I know it does seem extravagant to use 5 fl oz (150 ml) cream for 1 lb (450 g) potatoes, but I would forego a pudding with cream once in a while in order to justify it. And although cheese is sometimes added to this, I think it masks the potato flavour too much.

 
 

Method

First, peel the potatoes and slice them very, very thinly (a wooden mandolin is excellent for this operation, if you have one), then plunge the potato slices into a bowl of cold water and swill them round and round to get rid of some of the starch. Now dry them very thoroughly in a clean tea cloth. Then in the gratin dish arrange a layer of potato slices, a sprinkling of crushed garlic, pepper and salt and then another layer of potatoes and seasoning.
Now mix the cream and milk together, pour it over the potatoes, sprinkle with a little freshly grated nutmeg, then add the butter in flecks over the surface and bake on the highest shelf in the oven for 1½ hours.
_This recipe is taken from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course and Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course_.

 

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