Gratin Dauphinois (Scalloped Potatoes au Gratin)

Au Gratin Potatoes hot from the oven!
This is the easiest potato dish, takes the humble potato and a bit of milk to a wonderful dish!! Just what I needed last night after a full and I do mean full day of yard work and heavy lifting. 

Every spring I have to face the digging out of our patio. The winter leaves it buried in mud and "gum balls" a golf ball sized prickly dropping from the sweet gum tree. Additionally there is the hosing down and cleaning of the heavy wooden rocking chairs that live there. Last but far from least there are all of the plants I can't seem to kill. Every spring I drag them onto the patio where they thrive and grow lush. Every fall I drag them back inside where I nurse them until the spring. They make a big mess coming and going. Many are so big and heavy it is all I can do to get them through the door!

Well anyway, I thought of these potatoes and set about to make them. The recipe is my adaptation of Julia Childs' from The French Chef Cookbook. I always think of it on days like this, when I am just plain pooped!!

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes peeled
1 1/2-2 C. milk
1/4-1/2 C. cream (optional)
2 cloves garlic mashed
1 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
4-6 T. butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Butter an 10 C. glass baking dish and set it aside.

Slice the potatoes 1/8 " think and drop them into cold water. (I use the food processor.) Bring the milk and cream just to the boil with the garlic, salt and pepper. Drain the potatoes and add them to the buttered dish. Cover with the hot milk mixture and distribute the butter over the top of the dish. 

Bake in the center of the preheated oven about 30 minutes until the milk is absorbed, the potatoes are tender, and the top is browned. If you are serving immediately, keep warm uncovered, adding a bit more milk if the potatoes become dry. I like that it cooks quickly at a high heat and you are ready to eat!!

These are great with meatloaf, roasts, steaks, and chops. Yield enough for 8 people.

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