Friday, November 30, 2007

Ta da!

Ta da!
Originally uploaded by hellomizk
Earlier today I was rereading one of my favorite books about food by food critic Jeffrey Steingarten. In one of the articles he had an excessively long and detailed recipe for a Gratin Dauphinoise that makes me positively drool every time I read it. Today, as I reread the recipe for the tenth or eleventh time, I thought, "Why not." It's Friday and I have nothing overwhelming pressing to do, though I probably should have hit the Post to pay rent, but that can wait until tomorrow. I made a list of ingredients and hit the grocery.

When I was younger, we got Potatoes au Gratin in a box - it was delicious and one of the foods I begged for. It never occurred to me that there was any other way to make them before I read Steingarten's article. I've always been a pretty good eater, but it wasn't until I spent several years working in restaurants that I really got into food.

This recipe was easily one of the most detailed I have ever read - it was two full pages long. When Mr K walked in the kitchen and saw me, ruler in hand, measuring my potato slice, I thought he was going to hit the floor laughing. Following the directions in the book exactly, I sliced potatoes to 1/8 inch on my mandolin slicer and buttered my casserole dish. Four tablespoons of butter, one cup of tasty swiss milk, one and a half cups of heavy cream - swoon. I lightly crushed a garlic clove and added it to the milk along with a bit of nutmeg and salt and pepper. I brought the milk to boil once, let it cool, and then boiled again before pouring gently over my potato slices. Before the milk was poured, however, I had to tile my potato slices exactly as described, even going so far as to "throw away the small end slices" as the book instructed. This mix baked, covered for several minutes, during which time I boiled, cooled, and boiled again the heavy cream. So many steps!

I think this could be one of the more complicated things I've cooked to date and it was wonderful. Next time I would probably give it another five minutes in the oven, but as you can see from the picture, the top browned perfectly and the cream and butter oozed out from between the thin potato slices. With this we had ham and a cold bean salad. All in all I was very impressed and no, there isn't any left.

Between intense cooking today and finishing my 50k words last night - the novel isn't done, but NaNoWriMo is - I'm utterly exhausted right now. It's just a bit past 7:30 in the evening and I think I could fall asleep right now. Mr K is playing Playstation as we finally got the doodad to plug it in.

I'm off to eat the last three gooey potato slices and try to stay awake!


Fabian Trunz said...

Oooh, sounds really tasty! The karate cooks would be proud.

vqbruizt... Sounds edible as well... are your word verifications food themed by any chance?

Jen said...

One word for you...YUMMMMMM! :-)

little sis said...

YUM!!!! i think you should make that for us when you come visit! LOL! miss you!

Miz K said...

That I can do - do you have a mandolin slicer? If not we'll have to go find one! And a stick of butter..... and a ton of heavy cream.....yum!

Kasia said...

your gratin sounds heavenly! guess what? (no, not a chicken butt for a change :P) we are thinking about buying PS2 finally ;)I guess that Chris and Peter should play more often together ;)

AciDemon said... i'm really hungry.
i'd love to have that gratin now. (and it's about 6:30 AM)

and of course:

congrats to the NaNoWriMo!! you did a gread job!

Anonymous said...

It's *on*!

My Mac & Cheese