4-3: French Potato Gratin is a great side dish for a dinner. It was easy to make and it only takes one pan to cook this recipe.
Jamie made notes on this recipe that I completely ignored. I used the mandoline to cut the potatoes and I used 9 medium/small potatoes.
Editor’s note: I did indeed make notes on this, from when I made this for a fancy dinner for my family during Spring Break of 2009. I stand by my recommendation of using the food processor, but you do you, boo.
This recipe was a good reason to bring out the garlic press. We own a model similar to the version shown on the card.
The ingredients for dish have to be lactose free. In the photo, it is clear that I accidentally purchased half-and-half that was not lactose free and boy did I pay for that later.
This recipe gave me a chance to practice peeling potatoes. I got pretty quick at it by potato number six. I stacked the mandolin slicer on the peeled potatoes to show the tool I used to get the even, thin slices shown in the next photo.
The mandoline makes quick work of the potatoes and cuts them into thin medallions. These will become the base of the layers of gratin.
Spray the cast iron and start the first layer of potatoes. Keep placing potatoes until the bottom of the pan is covered.
Pressing garlic is fun! Use the garlic press to squeeze little bits of garlic on the layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Pour some milk and half and half across the layer and build another layer. Repeat until out of potatoes.
Here’s the next layer of potatoes, spices, and ready for another dousing with milk.
Douse the final layer with milk and put the dish into the oven to bake for 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the potatoes underneath are creamy.
Looking back, I could have left this in the oven a lot longer. The top was not nearly brown enough and the potatoes on the bottom were still tough and hard.
I served these potatoes with some sausages. Here’s another one of my attempts to put garnish on the plate. It’s edible (flat parsley), but not enhancing to the flavor of the dish.