There are some dishes that manage to win people over at any time of the year, no matter what the occasion, whilst others seem designed to best appeal during the winter months, and in particular at the magical period of Christmas. So what do we have hiding in the saucepan today, friends of ‘My Italian Recipes’? Well, a lovely gratin dauphinois - a potato gratin – whereby the combination of cheese and fresh cream makes it ideal as an accompaniment to both meat and fish dishes. The gratin of the Dauphiné region, from where this dish originates, is particularly well-known and widespread in North America and Canada. Beware of recipes that require you to pre-cook the potatoes: for a perfect gratin dauphinois, the potatoes should be sliced paper thin and cook directly in the oven.
Peel the potatoes and cut into slices as thin as possible. Butter a baking sheet and rub a clove of garlic over it, so that it transfers some of its aroma. In a large bowl, mix the potato slices with the grated cheese, egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Arrange the potatoes neatly in the baking dish. In a separate bowl mix the cream with the milk. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes. Finish by dotting with some flakes of butter. Bake for 50 minutes at 180°C and then another 10 minutes at 200°C.