Pommes Dauphinoise and a toast

Making Pommes Dauphinoise

And…exhale. After all the holiday parties, tree-trimming, gift exchanges, and last-minute shopping frenzies, being back in the kitchen again was a perfect opportunity to slow things down. So Ana, my mother-in-law and one of my favorite cooks, and I prepared Pommes Dauphinoise (au gratin potatoes) from the Food 52 Holiday Recipe and Survival Guide cookbook that I reviewed last week. We peeled, sliced, grated, sprinkled, and created a delicate rendition of the classic potato dish, all the while using the iPad as a guide, and infusing the house with mouthwatering aromas of nutty gruyère and lemony thyme. We then served it as one of the main characters in a totally simple, cozy meal of hearty pasteles, glazed ham, avocado salad, and red wine. We toasted to family and to being together. Thanks Alex, for capturing the story with your beautiful images.

Pommes Dauphinoise (adapted from Food 52 Holiday Recipe and Survival Guide) for 6

1 1/2 cups of milk
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 Yukon Gold potatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grated Gruyère
fresh thyme

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Put milk in small saucepan and peel and smash one garlic clove. Add it to the milk,
and heat the milk gently until it starts to bubble at the edges. Remove from heat and set aside.

Peel the second garlic clove, cut in half and rub the inside of the gratin dish (approx. 9 inches long and 2 inches deep). Rub 1 tablespoon
of butter on the inside of the dish.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/8 inch-thick-slices (you can use a mandoline or cut by hand). Lay the slices on a paper towel to dry.
Layer a third of the potatoes slices on the inside of the baking dish, fanning into cocentric overlapping circles. Season them with salt
and pepper, a the grated cheese, and some fresh thyme . Repeat with two more layers of potatoes.

Remove the garlic clove from the milk and pour the milk evenly over the potatoes. Dot the top of the potatoes with the remaining butter.
Sprinkle fresh thyme on top. Bake the gratin for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Let the potatoes cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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