There ain’t no potato famine over here

I’m actually not a big potato fan. But this, this creamy, garlicky dish of goodness is an absolute favourite and something I’ve been making since 1988.

Gratin Dauphinois
2 cloves garlic, smooshed with salt until it’s almost a paste*
1.5 cups milk
1.5 cups thickened cream
1kg potatoes
salt and pepper
2 pinches of cinnamon
4 pinches of nutmeg

– Preheat oven to 190C
– Butter a large ceramic baking dish (For this amount, as it normally feeds quite a few, I do two smaller dishes and then place one at either end of the table for people to serve themselves)
– Using a mandolin, slice the potatoes thinly (don’t put in water as some people like to do as they’re preparing potatoes, you need the starch in them to help thicken it)
– Bring the garlic, milk and cream to the boil
– Add the seasonings and potatoes – cook for 5 minutes
– Layer the potatoes in the baking dish, pour over the cream mix (don’t worry if there’s some mix left over, just add enough that the potatoes are covered)
– Bake for around 50 minutes.

Seriously, this is so good I’ve been known to pretty much sidestep everything else I’ve prepared to just eat this. Although combined with the following beans, its almost enough to turn me vegetarian.

Green beans with garlic
The first time I made these I was in Year 10 at school (15) and had never been kissed. I made them with the potatoes above and a stuffed loin of veal, which was sensational but I’ve never made since. The potatoes and beans however, feature at almost every dinner I prepare.

750g green beans, topped and tailed
2 tblsp evoo
6 cloves of garlic, smooshed to a paste
2 tblsp dried breadcrumbs
2 tblsp flatleaf parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
25g butter

– bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, cook the beans for 6-8 minutes
– drain and drop into cold water
– heat the oil in a frypan
– add the garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley and seasonings, cook for 1 minute
– add the butter
– add the beans and toss to warm through

Eugh, just thinking about them makes my mouth water. Y.U.M.