The whole clan drove up to Poitiers last Sunday for Victor’s 8th birthday. Victor is the eldest of my grand nephews. He loves food just as much as the next guy in the family. Oysters are his favorites… I bought him a gold fish he decided to name Oascar. Oscar is very small but very red. But then again, evrerything about that day was bright and colorful. The garden, the food, the people…
My niece Aurélie, Victor’s mom, has the “Ialwaysbuytoomuchcheese” syndrome. The syndrome runs in the family as both my sister and I have it. Her husband Geoffrey has the “Ibuywaytoomuchmeat” syndrome… A match made in heaven really :0)
Their dog – her name is Intox – is very young. This was one of her first big family gatherings with us. The smell of the BBQ really got to her. She thought she’d died and gone to heaven.
Besides the oyster and the best wines and Champagne we could find, the menu included rillettes, patés, kilos and kilos of the most amazing beef (with shallots of course), my very own gratin Dauphinois, then the cheese, tarte tatin (apple pie) and a chocolate cake we’d made with Belgium chocolate and salted butter from Guérande. Needless to say that we were all pretty full when we left the table around 5pm. Hanna, my cousin’s Texan girlfriend, could not believe we all, including the kids, could stay seated at the same table for so long… Of course, we all swore that we wouldn’t have dinner that evening… Of course we eventually did! Cold cuts with mayo will be the end of me I swear!
This was yet another incredible family affair bursting with color, fragrances and love in what I’ll always call my French heaven…
I used a new recipe for the Gratin Dauphinois (potato gratin). By new recipe, I mean using a different technique. The ingredients are always the exact same!! Everyone absolutely loved it and had several helpings (even the one claiming she was on a diet):
For 6 foodies:
- Get 4 pounds of potatoes. Try to get them from the farm and make sure they are the kind that hold together when cooked. The ones you’d use for stews or raclette or salads are perfect.
- Peal and clean the potatoes.
- Slice them thin (1 or 2mm). Do not put them in water!!! The starch they contain will contribute greatly to the texture and taste of your gratin.
- Rub an oven dish with quite a bit of soften butter and sprinkle nutmeg, black pepper and salt all over the dish (half a teaspoon of each). Add half a glass of milk.
- Lay down a first layer of potatoes. Each layer will be about half an inch thick.
- Sprinkle salt, black pepper and nutmeg again. This time, also add a big clove of garlic (chopped) as well as 5 tablespoons of heavy cream (the thick kind).
- Repeat the layer process until you run out of potatoes (use two large cloves of garlic total).
- Spread a big cup (250g) of cream over the last layer
- Put your dish in the oven at 400°F for 45 minutes to an hour. Your gratin is ready when the top is golden brown and the potatoes are really REALLY soft (use a knife to check) all the way through.
I might actually make a video soon to show you the exact process… I always think a recipe is simple, but then I write it down and it sounds complicated…