This post continues my series on potato recipes, inspired by the International Association for Potatoes and Onions as a Main Dish.
Years ago, my favourite restaurant used to be Nineteen at 19 Mossop Street where I used to go with my then-boyfriend Jean-Paul (not his real name). It was just off Sloane Avenue and seemed THE place to be as young would-be yuppies back in ’80s London. There were lots of dashing young men in button-down shirts and ties with willowy young women in Hermes scarves and Alice bands - it was a subset of ’80s youth culture: preppy style as interpreted via Oxbridge. The restaurant seems to have burnt down. Jean-Paul is now a leading commercial law QC at chambers in Inner Temple with a family of his own and as you know, I’ve become somewhat more arty, boho and alternative in my lifestyle choices.
Anyway, Nineteen did a great Potatoes Dauphinoise dish, which is essentially potatoes and onions - but not as a main dish. I’ve been adapting it incrementally over the years and it’s most recent incarnation in my kitchen (this weekend, in fact) turned out as follows:
1. In a medium-deep dish (deep enough for 3-4 layers of sliced potatoes) lay down a layer of sliced potatoes - 2 each per person is about right.
2. Then spread a layer of sliced onions (full or half rings; red onions add great colour) and chopped garlic.
3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried herbs (rosemary or thyme or sage or mixed herbs or herbs de provence or whatever of your choice) and dot small knobs of butter around.
4. Repeat 1, 2 and 3 until the dish is almost full to the brim.
5. Add the final layer of sliced potatoes on top. Repeat 3.
6. Add a small pot of cream (single is fine, double is extra yummy and if you’re watching your weight, skimmed milk will just about do)
7. Drizzle olive oil evenly over the whole lot.
8. Bake in medium oven for an hour.
You should have crispy, golden brown potatoes on the top and succulent, flavourful soft potatoes underneath saturated with a delicious flavour of herbs and cream and onions. I think, technically, you’re meant to add grated cheese on top - which would be very yummy, too - but I don’t.
You could eat this dish as a main meal on its own, I suppose, but for the truly gourmand experience I’d recommend having it with grilled steak…
Photo: thanks to the b bc