My lovely uncle gave me Mastering the Art of French Cooking, volumes one and two for christmas this year, which I am very excited about, and just HAD to cook something from right away. I picked scalloped potatoes, as they are delicious and I would get to use my new little mandolin to slice the potatoes, thus making it a win-win-win situation. I don't know if my proportions of things was slightly off, or if this is just the way the French do it, but these potatoes are not as saucy as the ones from the box. Not that that is a bad thing, you could actually taste the potatoey goodness that is practically obliterated by the boxed sauce. If you need a saucier potato to be happy, you could up the milk and cheese and that would probably do it, although I have not tried this myself so I cannot vouch for it.
First, convince someone to peel 2 pounds of potatoes for you (I hate peeling potatoes).
Slice said potatoes 1/8 inch thick and put them in cold water until you need them. Note my new toy, it made slicing them quite easy once I got the hang of it, the first potato somehow shot all the way down the counter while I was attempting to slice it.
While your potatoes hang out, rub 1/2 a clove of garlic all around your baking dish, then do the same with 1 tablespoon of butter.
Dry the potatoes and spread half of them in the bottom of the dish. Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the slices with 1/2 cup grated swiss.
Add some butter and then repeat with the second half the the potatoes.
Pour a cup of hot milk over the whole mess and then stick it on a hot burner until it simmers (in my personal opinion there was not enough liquid to actually simmer, so i just guessed at when it was ready)
Pop it in the oven until the potatoes are tender and the milk has been absorbed.
Gratin Dauphinois (from Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
2 pounds potatoes
1/2 clove unpeeled garlic
4 tbs butter
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup swiss cheese, grated
1 cup boiling milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel potatoes and slice them 1/8 inch thick, put in cold water.
Rub baking dish (10 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep) with garlic, smear with 1 tablespoon butter.
Drain potatoes and dry them, spread half in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle over half the salt, pepper, cheese and butter. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
Pour over the boiling milk, then set the baking dish over heat and when simmering place in oven.
Bake 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, the milk has been absorbed and the top is browned.