Easy recipe for the French classic, Gratin Dauphinois. Enjoy this creamy, hearty side-dish with or without cheese. Serve with grilled meats or salmon or on its own with added bacon.
Preheat oven to 190°C/170°C fan/ 375°F/Gas 5.
Peel the potatoes (although not always necessary - I love them cleaned with skins still on), wash and pat dry on kitchen paper. Slice them as thin as you can (3mm) either by hand (like I've done here) or with a mandoline (watch your fingers!) or the slicer attachment of a food processor.
Heat the milk, cream and chopped garlic (depending how much you like your garlic!) in a medium saucepan (able to hold all the potatoes) until boiling. Turn down the heat to low, add the nutmeg, salt and pepper (a few turns of the pepper mill) then add the sliced potatoes (no need to wash, as you need the starch to thicken when it bakes).
Cook for about 5 minutes, turning the slices over with a spoon so that the potatoes are well covered and heated in the cream. (If you prefer to add cheese, add it here).
Butter a baking dish (26x18cm/10x7inch). Add the potato mixture to the dish, spreading them out evenly with a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown
If making for guests, prepare 2-3 hours in advance and reheat covered in foil for 15 minutes before serving to make life easier.
UPDATE: If serving this with salmon, add a Lapsang Souchong teabag when initially heating the milk then remove before adding the potatoes. The result is a lovely subtle smoky flavour - perfect for Autumn or Winter warming suppers.
Nutritional Values: 210 Calories per serving (without the cheese); 5g protein; 9g carbohydrates; 27g fat.
Matching wines: As this is a side-dish, it all depends on what you're eating with it but since it's a real winter warming dish I'd go for a gutsy, oily white such as a Chardonnay, Voignier or Chenin Blanc and for a red, a good Burgundy (Pinot Noir) or Beaujolais Cru such as Morgon.