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Grandmother Lucette’s recipes - Gratin Dauphinois

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You probably don’t know my grandmother, which is a great shame as she is such an amazing cook. Tasting her dishes is sheer bliss. From the very first mouthful, a feeling of total pleasure washes over you; from your taste buds to your stomach, it’s sheer unadulterated pleasure.


I’m the type of person who likes to share life’s simple pleasures with my friends, so here are a few of her ‘to-die-for’ recipes for you.

The first is a regional treasure: gratin Dauphinois

To start with, there is one golden rule that you definitely won’t want to break, for fear of my grandmother making mincemeat out of you: you never put cheese in a gratin dauphinois! Never ever! It -isn’t-a-tar-ti-flette!

Right, now we’re clear on that point, let’s get started. Here is the genuine gratin Dauphinois recipe. 

Preparation time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 2hrs minimum.
Cost: Low
Difficulty: easy.
1.5 kilos potatoes (Mona lisa poatoes or similar, not potatoes for mashing),
50 cl milk,
50 cl single cream,
1 clove of garlic,
2 knobs of butter,
a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper.

-Pre-heat your oven to 140 °c.
-Peel the potatoes and rince them thoroughly.
-Slice them but DO NOT rinse them again (rinsing them removes the starch and you need that to ensure the gratin is not too watery).
-Heat the milk in a large saucepan with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to the boil and add the potatoes. Leave to cook on a gentle heat for around 10 minutes.
-Butter your dish with the first knob of butter, then rub the bottom of the dish with the garlic.
-Pour the potatoes and the milk into the dish, then add the cream.
-Put little flecks of butter all over the top, using the 2nd knob of butter.
-Put in the oven and cook for about 2hrs. The slower it cooks, the tastier it will be. The potatoes should be soft, but still hold their shape and the top should be golden and crunchy.

My Grandmother’s tip: reheated for an hour or so, your gratin will be even nicer the next day!

As this dish isn’t particularly low in calories, here are a few exercises to help you flush out the toxins and get in shape for skiing at the same time. These are optional of course; you are allowed to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty!

Bon appétit!

Picture copyright: HatM via