Jump to content

Potatoes Gratinée


Recommended Posts

I'm trying to duplicate a particular preparation of potatoes au gratin. The potatoes are thinly sliced and almost meltingly tender (but firm enough to be sliced into squares). I think there might have been gruyere and/or parmesan in them.

The distinguishing feature, though, was the crust. You see a lot of these kinds of dishes where the potatoes are kind of uneven, and the crust is dark brown in spots and white in others. The crust on this version, though, was completely even: mostly flat, and cooked to a perfect light gold all across and just slightly crunchy. It was also "removable": that is, you could take it off and just eat the crust.

Any ideas how this was done? Egg? Cheese? Breadcrumbs? Broiler? No broiler? Par-cooked?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doubtful... Also, what would they be torching?

The surface as in Julia Child's demonstration of the gadget on TV (crème brulée, non?).


Very slow ovens also can do the trick, sometimes w the dish covered tightly w foil for a long time while potatoes become tender; remove foil for final 30-45 minutes so that butter-dappled* surface becomes that lovely crust. Cf. Suzanne Goin's recipe for heirloom tomato and potato grain in Sunday Suppers at Lucques. Also you might achieve similar results w more liquid added, casserole uncovered, as in that very American dish of scalloped potatoes--BUT both of these methods are prone to the beautiful irregularities that you wish to avoid. Thus, lperry's suggestion.

*The cause of spots. You could melt butter and brush surface evenly, instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with AB that the secret is a slow oven and a finish with shredded cheese for the last 30 minutes of cooking. I believe I've mentioned somewhere that finding the James Beard recipe* for pommes dauphinoise was revolutionary for me. Prior to employing a low and slow method, my results for scalloped potatoes were uneven.

However, I cook the entire time with the dish uncovered- 2 hours total. So, so worth it.

BTW, on the even browning, I can only offer a suggestion to turn the dish in the oven while cooking.

*I assemble the dish and go directly to cooking in the oven. I do not start on the stove. Results are great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...