Smoked salmon gratin dauphinoise
I don’t think I’m being immodest by saying that generally I’m an upstanding kind of guy. But every so often I like to go off the rails, I like to do something bad, wrong and downright dirty. Usually that involves food.
Gratin dauphoinise is one of those dishes I love to eat but can never justify ordering, let alone making it because of the stodge. That is until someone leads me astray and tells me I can make it. Well if I’m told I can do something then that’s fine isn’t it? According to Supper Club, Kerstin Rodgers' (aka Ms Marmitelover) book and host of The Underground Restaurant, her salmon dauphoinise is a perfect summer dish. Well that’s perfect because it’s summer - if served with a salad - it’s healthy - and a glass of crisp white wine - for essential lubrication, obviously. So I am easily led astray.
I served this as a main course on just such a wet, summer’s evening, with a salad of baby spinach leaves and a walnut oil dressing (walnut oil, white wine vinegar, diced garlic, salt and pepper). I fear though that following it with Eton Mess might have been a bit too much cream for one night.
I should say, I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit. She recommends it being no more than three layers deep, I did about five in my favourite dish. I also used a bit more smoked salmon than she recommends. In her recipe she says 250g, I ended up using 300g.
Serves 4 as a main-course (you could however serve it as a side)
- 4 large baking potatoes (e.g. Maris Pipers or King Edwards)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 300g smoked salmon
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 600ml double cream
Preheat the oven to 180C. I’d recommend sitting the dish you are using for this recipe in a roasting tray or similar. If it spills in the oven, it can get messy.
Peel the potatoes, then slice them very thinly - I use a mandoline. Alternatively, if you’ve got a food processor there’s a good chance it comes with a slicing blade.
Slice the garlic and rub your baking dish with it. Throw away the clove.
Grease the dish with the butter.
Arrange a layer of potatoes on the bottom. Kerstin recommends a fish scale pattern - basically, overlap them around the dish.
Salt and pepper the layer. Not too much salt as you’re about to add smoked salmon.
Add a layer of smoked salmon. My layers of smoked salmon did not cover the potato entirely, rather about 75% of it.
Then add another layer of potato, salt and pepper, smoked-salmon and so on. Topping out with potato.
Don’t fill it right to the top with potato as you need space for the cream.
Salt and pepper the top layer of potato and lay the bay leaves on top.
Pour over the cream - you will end up with a generous amount of cream covering your dish.
Cover with silverfoil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil. I found it needed a further 25 minutes but note that Kerstin recommends only 15 minutes.
Skewer the potatoes to check there is some give, assuming there is serve. If there's not, put it back in the oven for a bit.