Named for the Dauphiné region in southeastern France, potatoes à la dauphinoise made their first appearance in culinary history in 1788. It’s a perfect comfort food for enjoying on a frigid winter evening, but tastes great whatever time of year you make it.
Preparing the dish in the traditional manner takes about two hours. The result is well worth the wait, but for the benefit of people on the go, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has a “cheat” version that only takes 30 minutes and still yields a result that’s “creamy, oozy, cheesy, melt-in-your-mouth, absolutely gorgeous.”
Start off by thinly slicing a little over 2 pounds of washed potatoes. Likewise, slice up 1 or 2 red onions. If you’ve got a food processor, use it. That’s what it was invented for, as Oliver himself points out. Toss these in a pan and add about 2 cups of cream plus salt and pepper. Now an interesting shortcut: fill the pan about a quarter full with boiling water (this will get the cooking process kick-started).
Put the pan on a burner and while it heats, add some garlic and 4 or 5 anchovies (Oliver assures us they’ll dissolve into nothing). Also add a bit of thyme, a bay leaf or two, and some Parmesan cheese. Cover it with foil and let it cook for about 6 minutes. Now remove the foil and sprinkle a generous amount of Parmesean on top and put it in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
For all the details, check out the video that’s posted below. It’s a good thing this version of the classic French dish is so quick and easy: serve it once and your family will want it all the time!
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