GRATIN DAUPHINOIS By Matt Kelly, Mateo Bar de Tapas “It’s the only dish my father asked for, and he doesn’t like greens,” Matt says of this dish, which has appeared on Vin Rouge’s menu. “[It] has become my addiction for every holiday get-together. It’s a special treat – a very humble but luxurious dish. Very few ingredients are transformed into something that mashed potatoes never will be. You can also cook gratin dauphinois ahead of time – it’s a special occasion dish that holds well and transports well.” Matt also notes that, while you can shop for ingredients for this dish at the grocery store, it’s important to support local farmers and producers right now: You can sub Gruyere for local cheese and buy dairy and produce from a farmers market to add a local touch to this French dish. “Feeds one Mateo, or six normal humans!” 6 cups heavy cream (Ran-Lew Dairy is my favorite local brand) 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped 2 sprigs thyme 1 bay leaf 4 lbs. waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), peeled and sliced
h o l i d ay s
Salt Fresh black pepper Nutmeg 2.5 cups Gruyere or Chapel Hill Creamery Calvander cheese Heat 5 cups of heavy cream in a saucepan with the chopped garlic. Add bay leaf and fresh thyme to the saucepan. Peel potatoes, wash and dry them. Use a mandolin to slice the potatoes, somewhere between the thickness of a nickel to 1/10 of an inch. Add potato slices to the cream and make sure liquid covers the potatoes. Heat over low heat and bring to a low simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt, pepper and a smidgen of fresh nutmeg. Fold in a cup of cheese, mix gently. Remove thyme and bay leaf, transfer to a casserole or gratin dish, top with remaining cheese and evenly drizzle heavy cream on top. Matt recommends a dish where the potatoes are 2 inches in depth. Bake at 350 F until the cheese is melted and starts turning golden in color. Remove from the oven, and it is ready to go – or it can be served later.