"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Friday, June 13, 2008

Gratin Dauphinois

Readers, I have to admit I was a little nervous making Gratin Dauphinois, because I think this is the potato dish Teena was telling me about when she said she first heard from Ruth Reichl. In a nutshell, Teena hated it, and Ruth left a distressed comment. Teena (who had cooked it in some other shape pan besides a gratin dish) agreed to try this Reichl family recipe again, with more satisfactory results.

What if I hated it too? Would RR, one of my personal heroes since I read Tender At the Bone, be sad and leave me a distressed comment too? Perish the thought--I would rather not post on it at all!

Fear not. I decided to try this when my second cooking client, Catharine, asked me for scalloped potatoes. This looked quick, user friendly, and yummy--with a bonus being that the half and half made it slightly less rich than the usual heavy cream associated with these dishes. A food processor with a slicer blade made the potato-slicing a snap.

Here's the dish before it went into the oven:

and after it came out:

OK. Now, I know that doesn't look like the most amazing gourmet food in the world but MAN is it good! Talk about total comfort--it hits all the buttons. And I especially loved that it is streamlined for the ease of the cook--you heat the potatoes right in the pan with the half and half, garlic, salt and pepper--and when it's just boiling, dump them (ok, pour carefully) into your buttered dish. Grated Gruyere and a little nutmeg and you're good to go, baby.


M said...

It certainly looks wonderful. I'll have to give it a try. :)

Have to ask, can you provide me a source for the Microplane zester you list in the sidebar? When I moved out to the midwest my zester went missing, and I haven't been able to find anything adequate to replace it with since.

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

Amazon. If I were organized that sidebar would allow you to click right through to their site where you could buy it.

I love those things in part because the first time I ever saw them was in art school and we used them to make sculptures out of solid plaster. You can only imagine how delighted I was to see they could be applied with equal efficiency to cheese and chocolate. :-)

Jessica said...

That looks incredibly good. Personally, potato products are total comfort food.

I'm in Tokyo for two months and I don't have an oven (they aren't very common in Japan)--I never knew how much I made in the oven until I didn't have one anymore...