Recipe: Potato and Parsnip Dauphinois

Here is that potato-parsnip gratin (Potato and Parsnip Dauphinois) recipe that I mentioned in my last post:

Potato and Parsnip Dauphinois
(A friend of mine gave me this recipe several years ago. I’m not sure where it came from but will let you know if I find out.)

2 lbs. potatoes, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lb. parsnips, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup grated Gruyere or Cheddar cheese
fresh nutmeg, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pint light cream or half-and-half
1/2 pint milk

1. Lightly grease a large shallow ovenproof dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Layer the potatoes with the onion and parsnips. In between each layer, dot the vegetables with garlic and butter. Sprinkle on most of the cheese, add the nutmeg and season well.
3. Heat the cream and milk together (see my note below) in a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Slowly pour the creamy mixture over the vegetables, making sure it seeps underneath them.
4. Scatter the remaining cheese over the vegetables and grate a little more nutmeg on top. Bake for about an hour or so, until the potatoes are tender and the top is bubbling and golden.
Serves four to six.

NOTE: I prefer to make 2 cups of a medium white sauce, rather than just pouring the milk/cream mixture over the top because it doesn’t thicken. It’s also hard to incorporate all of the cream (or white sauce) into the dish so it’s easier to toss everything into a large metal bowl, pour the white sauce over the top, stir everything together and then put it all into the greased ovenproof dish.