Just as every Provençal cook has his or her own way of preparing bouillabaisse, so will every Dauphiné home cook have his or her version of this most famous of all French potato gratins. On the website www.gratindauphinois.com, there are more than two hundred recipes deemed acceptable to the residents of the Rhône-Alpes region of France where Dauphiné is located.
In my version, thinly sliced potatoes are bathed in an egg-enriched cream and then piled into a gratin dish. A tip I learned from the website: Bake the gratin, let it stand for at least fifteen minutes, and then reheat it before serving. The second heating makes the gratin taste even better.
A 9- × 12-inch gratin or shallow baking dish (10- to 12-cup capacity)
Some cooks, particularly in the Vercors near the Drôme in eastern France, make this dish differently. There the potatoes are simmered in milk—with no cream—until they are just tender but still quite firm a day in advance. They are then left to soak in the hot milk overnight. The next day the milk is drained off and the potatoes are arranged in a gratin dish, covered with cheese and butter, and baked quickly in a hot oven until golden brown.
Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2009 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Ed Anderson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.