My French husband often needs a dose of the butter and cream diet he was raised on. For simple and straightforward recipes, I turn to my favorite kitchen helper, Julia Child. Her Gratin Dauphinois recipe is easy to make and delicious to eat.
2 pounds starchy potatoes
1/2 clove unpeeled garlic
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Swiss cheese (NOTE: I use Gruyere)
1 cup boiling milk or cream
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8 inch thick. Place in cold water. Drain when ready to use.
2. Rub the baking dish with cut garlic (NOTE: I chop up the garlic and sprinkle it on the first layer of potatoes for extra zing). Smear the dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
3. Drain the potatoes and dry them in a towel. Spread half of them in the bottom of the dish. Divide over them half the salt, pepper, cheese, and butter.
4. Arrange the remaining potatoes over the first layer and season. Spread on the rest of the cheese and divide the butter over it. Pour on the boiling milk.
5. Set the baking dish in upper third of preheated oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, the milk is absorbed, and the top is a golden brown.