Flying by the seat of our pants: Potatoes Dauphinara

Feel free to refute me in the comments, but for my money the only thing that beats having two dishes that taste amazing is finding a way to combine them into one megadish of uberawesome. Throw in a little experimentation with excessive indulgence, and I’m even happier.

potatoes dauphinara

I bring this up because we’ve just begun work on gratin number three: Potatoes Dauphinara. We are combining the creamy awesomeness of potatoes dauphinoise with the eggy goodness of a classic carbonara. Except we’re also adding a bunch of roasted garlic, parmesan cheese, and (wait for it) TRUFFLES. You see, Biscuit has been a wandering soul for much of this year, which means he’s breezed through the Duty Free at Charles de Gaulle at least once. Where, for reasons unknown, you can’t buy wine, but you can get a small jar full of whole black truffles. I freaking love the French.

Anyway. We have no idea what we’re doing, beyond the fact that we are throwing many awesome things together in a pan and finding out what happens. Watch this space for updates (or followups; we suspect that assembly might need to happen fast enough to preclude us from live-updating this one).

Listening to: “I Love Paris” - Les Negresses Vertes

7:33 pm:
Biscuit here.  I think my favorite foods to make are the ones where we’re essentially inventing it as we go.  We figure out a couple ingredients, and decide how to combine them, on the fly.

This has just led to a revelation: a little piece of the sourdough for stuffing, dipped into a little bit of black truffle oil, with a sliver of Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.  Holy mother.

8:11 pm:
Shiv again. Y’all, I can’t even begin to explain what is happening over in the kitchen right now. Suffice it to say, it involves shaved truffles, potatoes sliced thinly enough to be translucent, and a shedload of butter. Also a lot of steady, surgery-style assembly. It is, quite simply, exquisitely beautiful. Hot damn.


9:31 pm:
Biscuit here.  After the Dauphinara, Shiv and I took a bit of a break to drink down a glass of a truly fab red wine and rest our aching tootsies.  All that’s left on this baby is to add the cream and bake it up.  Here’s the recipe — I have no idea how it will actually turn out, but my money is on staggeringly exceptional.  As Shiv said, we’re riffing on two classics — the thinly-shaved potatoes and cheese of the potatoes dauphinoise plus the egg yolky delight of carbonara.  While we’re at it, we made it simultaneously more French (truffles) and more Italian (Parmigiano-Reggiano).  We opted to leave out the bacon in order to provide a vegetarian-friendly dish, but I think I might bring this back for my New Year’s Day Retox Brunch with the meat products intact.

10 medium red potatoes
1 lb Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated coarsely
3 cloves roasted garlic (unroasted would probably be just fine)
2 cloves raw garlic
1 stick unsalted butter
black truffle, very thinly  sliced
1 tsp black truffle oil
1 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
salt and pepper

  1. Drop the raw garlic cloves into the cream to infuse.  By the time you’re done with slicing and assembly, you’ll have some spicy heavy cream.
  2. Coat the inside of a standard 9×13 glass dish with the roasted garlic.  (If you’re not already roasting some garlic up, rubbing it down with raw garlic cloves will probably be fine.)
  3. Thinly slice — and I mean thinly; I used the finest setting on my mandolin and could probably have read a book through them — your potatoes.  I sliced and layered two at a time to ensure consistency.
  4. Drop down your first layer of potatoes.  Scatter on some black truffle.  Sprinkle on salt and pepper.  Dot with 1/4 stick of the butter.  Spread on a decent-but-not-gratuitous layer of the parmesan.
  5. Lather, rinse, repeat, use up your truffle and butter, and end up on a final layer of potatoes.  Salt and pepper, and then top with a more significant layer of the parmesan.
  6. Pull the garlic cloves out of the cream.  Whisk in the egg yolks and truffle oil.
  7. Pour the creamy eggy mix over the top of your potatoes.
  8. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
  9. Eat it all and die from the yums.

Once we’ve actually had a chance to taste this culinary mashup, I’ll let you know how it actually turned out.  I can[’t stop salivating just thinking about it.  This is serious.

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