FFWD – Pommes Dauphinoise (Potato Gratin)


We had the first snow of the year last night, though nothing really stuck to the ground. It’s wet here in Vancouver and there are only a few times each year that conditions are right for snow. By the time I took the dog out for her final walk of the day, the snow had turned to heavy rain and only a few small patches of ice remained, stuck to the grass. Still, I can see that it’s time to put away my light jackets and reach to the back of the closet for my winter coats. I should also finish the scarf that I’ve been starting for the last two months. It will go quickly now, for I seem to knit with more conviction when it’s cold outside.

Pommes Dauphinois is a wintry dish. Layers of potato soaked in garlic-infused cream, with a layer of gruyère cheese on top – it’s a perfect dish for chasing out the cold. It looks wintry, too, with white on white on white, until it’s baked. Then, its gruyère topping turns golden.

The recipe itself takes some time, so it’s not a good choice for a last-minute dish. However, none of the steps are particularly difficult. My knife skills are lacking, so I didn’t achieve uniformity in the thickness of my potato slices. I think I must invest in a mandoline. Cooking the dish took longer than the time given in the recipe, so be prepared for that. I used the opportunity to add more cheese, which was very bad of me, but very much appreciated by my dinner companions.

There’s no picture of the completed dish. Everyone was quite hungry. I’d also made Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux and it was resting on the counter, filling the kitchen with its aroma. There was really no time for any more photographs. The dish was quickly decimated. You’ll have to be content with the photo I took just before I added that extra layer of cheese.

The potatoes are creamy and subtly garlicky and gruyère is the perfect counterpoint to those flavours. They were a very good accompaniment for the chicken and we rounded off the meal with steamed brussels sprouts. I’ll be making these potatoes again, though probably in smaller quantities, as the recipe is suitable for a crowd.

We’re doing things a little differently for the month of November. We’re still posting weekly, but people are free to post this month’s recipes in any order. You can find many other blogged descriptions of this month’s FFWD recipes here: LYL: November 19

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19 thoughts on “FFWD – Pommes Dauphinoise (Potato Gratin)

  1. Your gratin looks great. Didn’t you love the cheesy topping? I have admit when I made this, my husband and I ate the whole thing (over 4 nights). I also enjoyed your post on the rice pudding. I make one with similar flavors and add chopped pistachios.

  2. Enjoyed reading your post. Makes me feel like I know you just a little bit. Your food looks delicious. I’m sure your dinner companions are so happy you are a good cook!

  3. Thanks, everyone!

    @Cher – we had another snowfall, but only a little is sticking to the ground.
    @Elaine – I was walking the dog, noticed the leaf, then ran the dog home and ran back with my camera. I was so lucky to get that shot.
    @Betsy – I so loved the topping. There were some leftovers the next day, which were also really good. I’m glad you like the rice pudding post, too. It’s a really versatile recipe, I think.
    @Krissy – thanks for the kind words. I’m really enjoying writing these posts and especially reading everyone else’s posts.
    @Trevor – glad you like the post!
    @Tricia – let’s knit next week.
    @Steph – eating trumps photography, every time. 🙂

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog. I did like the gratin even though it was garlicky and I’m looking forward to making it again for Christmas parties. 🙂 Sometimes when I’m in a rush, I quickly snap some pictures and hope that at least one turns out well!

  5. @Kathy – I predict you’re going to love them. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂
    @Ker-Yng – I plan on making these again, too. I think I must be quite a sight when I’m cooking and trying to take photographs at the same time!
    @Becky – thanks! I’ll be making more, too.

  6. The gratin looks delicious and I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Just seeing your picture makes me think it’s time to make the gratin again — like maybe tonight!

  7. Thanks very much for stopping by, Dorie. The gratin was a huge hit and I’ll definitely be serving it again. I’m glad you liked the photo. Enjoy your gratin tonight and have a very happy holiday tomorrow!

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