This dish is more accurately known as Gratin Dauphinois, not to be confused with Potatoes Dauphine, which are essentially deep-fried potato balls. Potatoes Dauphinois are kin to scalloped potatoes, but do not use any flour in the recipe for thickening the liquid. There is cream in this recipe which you can forgo, adding more milk; the resulting loss of richness can be offset by sprinkling cheese on top before baking, which you can also do even if you use cream.
2 lb or so potatoes
2 1/2 c milk
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 c (heavy) cream, or more milk
1 c or so grated cheese, Gruyère or other good melting cheese, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Rinse a large saucepan with cold water. Do not dry. (Optional step)
3. Peel (or not) the potatoes. Slice them thinly. Do not rinse the slices. The starch from the potatoes is needed to thicken the mixture. Combine the slices with the milk, garlic, salt, and pepper in the large saucepan. (If you’re not using cream, the amount of milk will be 3 1/2 cups.) Bring just to the boil, stirring gently to separate the potato slices.
4. Carefully transfer the hot mixture to an 8″ x 8″ baking dish or similar sized baking vessel. Pour the cream on top, or sprinkle with cheese, or pour cream on top and sprinkle with cheese. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake for an hour, until the potatoes are tender and about half the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the oven and allow the dish to stand for 20 – 30 minutes longer. More liquid will be absorbed during this period.