Monday, September 26, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes

The arrival of fall always sparks my cravings for comfort food, and one of the foods I think of when I think "comfort" are potatoes- mashed, twice-baked, roasted, scalloped... you name it.  Scalloped potatoes are something I have never made myself- I've only made the boxed version... and while I do love them from a box (I guess I'd count that as one of my guilty pleasures), I decided it was about time to try making a homemade version.  I decided to go with Julia Child's classic recipe for Gratin Dauphinois.  Honestly I was a bit skeptical of the recipe because I wasn't sure whether all the potatoes would cook through and be tender, and there was such little sauce that it differed greatly from the boxed mix that I am so fond of, but I should have known better than to doubt the master.  This dish was wonderful- the potatoes were tender, but not mushy, the sauce was minimal, but the flavor of the cheese was infused throughout.  Definitely recommended!

Scalloped Potatoes
Gratin Dauphinois
from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

2 lbs. boiling potatoes ( I used Yukon golds)
1/2 clove unpeeled garlic
4 tbsp butter, divided 
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) Swiss cheese, grated
1 cup boiling milk

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Peel the potatoes, slice them 1/8-inch thick, and place them in a large bowl of cold water until ready to use.
3. Rub the garlic on an oven-proof baking dish (10-inches in diameter, and 2-inches deep), and then butter the inside of the dish with 1 tbsp of the butter.
4. Drain the potatoes, and dry them thoroughly in a towel.  
5. Cut the remaining 3 tbsp of butter into small pieces.
6. Spread half of the potatoes in the baking dish.  Top evenly with half the salt, pepper, cheese, and butter.  Spread the remaining half of the potatoes on top, and top evenly with the remaining salt, pepper, cheese, and butter.
7. Pour the boiling milk over the potatoes.
8. Place the potatoes in the oven, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the top is browned.

  • I made this in a 10-inch pie dish, about 2 inches deep as the recipe specifies, but because my boyfriend and I thought the best part of the dish was the browned and cheesy top, I may make this in a larger baking dish next time so that there is more surface area.
  • I was going to buy regular Swiss cheese for the potatoes when a smoked baby Swiss caught my eye instead, and I just had to buy it.  It was fabulous!  Pretty much any good melting cheese would work in this recipe I assume- Swiss, cheddar, Gouda, smoked Gouda! .... whatever your heart desires, and whatever cheese calls out to you from the cheese case!
  • Julia Child calls for the baking dish to be placed over heat on the stove after you've poured the boiling milk over the potatoes, and heat until simmering, but I skipped this step, and don't feel it's necessary.  My potatoes cooked perfectly just with cooking them in the oven.


  1. Those look amazing!!!!! We love scalloped potatoes! You have now put me in the mood to make them :) I love using yukon gold potatoes. They are my favorite!

  2. They were amazing, and I'm still in shock as to how easy and delicious they were! I will be making them quite often in the future I believe!