Creamy Delights: How to Master Dauphinoise Potatoes Like a Pro

Dauphinoise Potatoes, a classic French dish originating from the Dauphin region, are a true indulgence for the palate. Combining the richness of Gruyère cheese, the luxuriousness of cream, and the humble potato, this dish is a beloved favorite. Often confused with gratin and scalloped potatoes, Dauphinoise Potatoes have their distinct charm. In this article, we’ll delve into the nuances of preparing this creamy masterpiece and address some common questions.


Dauphinoise vs. Gratin: The Cheese and Cream Distinction

Dauphinoise Potatoes Recipe (With Video and Step by Step)

While Dauphinoise and gratin are sometimes used interchangeably, purists argue that the key difference lies in how the potatoes are cooked. Dauphinoise involves cooking the potatoes directly in cream, while gratin typically requires boiling them first. Scalloped potatoes, while similar, tend to omit the cheese element.

Variations Galore

The world of Dauphinoise Potatoes offers countless variations and renditions. In this particular version, we use a combination of heavy cream and evaporated milk instead of the traditional whole milk. This twist not only adds a unique flavor but also simplifies the process by eliminating the need for eggs or roux.

Mastering the Heat

Potatoes au Gratin (Dauphinoise) | RecipeTin Eats

One of the common challenges in making Dauphinoise Potatoes is managing the heat during the parcooking of sliced potatoes. It’s crucial to simmer the potatoes gently while preventing the dairy mixture from boiling over, burning, or breaking. The secret weapon here is evaporated milk, which provides stability and results in an exceptionally creamy interior.

The Perfect Slice

To achieve that picture-perfect cross-section of creamy, gooey goodness, it’s essential to let the Dauphinoise Potatoes cool before slicing. This step ensures that each serving maintains its neat, layered appearance.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Dauphinoise Potatoes Recipe (With Video and Step by Step)

Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s gather our ingredients:

  • 8 oz. Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated (approximately 2 cups), divided (with the rind reserved if attached).
  • 1 tablespoon of Diamond Crystal salt or 1¾ teaspoons of Morton kosher salt.
  • 2½ lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes (around 7 small).
  • One 12-oz. can of evaporated milk.
  • 2 cups of heavy cream.
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated.
  • 1 dried bay leaf.
  • 1 sprig of rosemary.
  • 1 sprig of thyme.
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard.
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper.
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg.

Cooking Instructions

How to Make Potato Dauphinoise | Potato Recipes | Tesco Real Food

Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s dive into the cooking process step by step:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and position a rack in the middle.

  2. In a medium Dutch oven or another heavy pot, combine the Gruyère rind (if available), evaporated milk, heavy cream, grated garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

  3. Peel the Yukon Gold potatoes and slice them into ⅛"-thick rounds using a mandoline or knife. Add them directly to the cream mixture to prevent oxidation.

  4. Place the pot over medium heat and bring the liquid to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low immediately, ensuring it doesn’t boil. Stir the mixture often to help the potatoes cook evenly. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender (not fully cooked), which should take around 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the herbs and cheese rind.

  5. Layer half of the sliced potatoes evenly into an 8×8" glass or ceramic baking dish. Spread ¾ cup of the cream mixture over them and top with 5 oz. of the coarsely grated Gruyère cheese.

  6. Arrange the remaining potatoes in an even layer on top and pour another ¾ cup of the cream mixture over them. You may have some cream mixture left in the pot. Sprinkle the remaining 3 oz. of Gruyère cheese on top.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbling. Allow it to cool slightly before serving.

Dauphinoise Potatoes, with their layers of creamy, cheesy goodness, are an exquisite French delicacy that’s sure to impress your guests. Whether enjoyed as a side dish or a standalone delight, they’re bound to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. Bon appétit!

Exploring Dauphinoise Potato Variations

What to eat with dauphinoise potatoes?

Dauphinoise potatoes, with their creamy and cheesy goodness, are a universally loved side dish. Wondering what to serve alongside this French classic? Here are some delectable options to elevate your meal:

  1. Roasted Beef Tenderloin: The rich, tender beef complements the creaminess of dauphinoise potatoes beautifully, making for a luxurious and hearty meal.

  2. Glazed Ham: The sweet and savory notes of glazed ham contrast with the potatoes’ richness, creating a delightful balance of flavors.

  3. Herb-Roasted Chicken: A succulent roasted chicken seasoned with fresh herbs offers a lighter option while still enhancing the dish’s overall appeal.

  4. Salmon Fillet: For seafood lovers, a perfectly cooked salmon fillet provides a delightful contrast to the creamy potatoes.

  5. Vegetable Medley: If you prefer a vegetarian pairing, consider a colorful vegetable medley or a crisp garden salad to add freshness and balance.

Dauphinoise potatoes are versatile and can complement a wide range of main courses, making them a go-to choice for any special occasion or family dinner. Bon appétit!

Why do French people eat dauphinoise potatoes?

Dauphinoise potatoes, also referred to as potatoes dauphinoise or gratin dauphinoise, hold a special place in French cuisine. But why do the French have a fondness for this dish? Here’s the story behind it:

  • Royal Origins: Dauphinoise potatoes have a regal history. It is believed that this dish was originally created for the Dauphin, who was the heir apparent to the French throne. Its rich and indulgent combination of sliced potatoes, cream, and milk baked to perfection reflects the grandeur and elegance associated with royal dining.

  • Timeless Appeal: Over the years, the deliciousness of Dauphinoise potatoes has transcended its royal origins. Its creamy, cheesy, and comforting flavors have made it a beloved classic in French households and beyond. The dish’s versatility and ability to pair with various mains have contributed to its enduring popularity.

In essence, Dauphinoise potatoes have not only survived the test of time but have also become a symbol of French culinary excellence, cherished for its royal heritage and irresistible taste.

How do you cook dauphinoise potatoes?

Cooking Dauphinoise Potatoes to creamy perfection is a delightful culinary venture. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). This ensures that it’s ready to work its magic on your dish.

  2. Prepare the Baking Dish: Grease a 2-quart baking dish. This step ensures that your potatoes won’t stick to the dish during baking, making for easy serving later.

  3. Melt the Butter: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. This is the foundation of your flavorful sauce.

With these initial steps, you’re on your way to creating a luscious and tender Dauphinoise potato masterpiece. Continue with the remaining cooking instructions to savor this creamy delight.

What is the difference between potato gratin and dauphinoise potatoes?

Wondering about the difference between potato gratin and Dauphinoise potatoes? Let’s clarify:

  • Shared Origins: Both dishes have French roots. Potato gratin is the American adaptation of the French "potatoes au gratin," while "Dauphinoise potatoes" is the Americanized term for "gratin de pommes de terre Dauphinoise."

  • Cheese Distinction: Here’s the key difference: scalloped potatoes typically skip the cheese element, focusing on creamy layers of potatoes. In contrast, both potato gratin and Dauphinoise potatoes feature the delightful addition of cheese, adding a rich and savory dimension to the dish.

So, while these dishes may share French origins and creamy potato goodness, the presence of cheese is the distinguishing factor between scalloped potatoes, potato gratin, and Dauphinoise potatoes.

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