The French are renowned for their culinary excellence and gastronomic standards (as well as being the capital of fashion and all things je ne sais quoi). Many other cuisines around the world have incorporated classic French techniques into their dishes, and aspiring cooks can often at least name one French chef they wish to emulate.
France used to be my plateau of dreams; it still is actually, even though I’ve given up on my fashion dreams. Who wouldn’t want to stroll down the river Seine, people-watch while you sip on coffee by the side walk, or just have a little Parisian romance under the lights of the Eiffel Tower? The country is no longer my priority and that’s two years of French classes gone to waste. It is now N’s little oyster of sparkles and exploding rainbows.
To be honest, our encounters with French food are too few to mention. The cuisine is relatively expensive in Singapore and I don’t think Délifrance is the best representation of what the French can offer. Some time back, our brother brought the whole family down to a casual French bistro nearby. La Petit Cuisine, it was called. Even though I found it odd that rice was served (to accommodate with local tastes, I suppose), the experience of having the French chef hovering around and barking at you to finish up your food was truly an eye opener. (I must state that the chef was just being cheeky and he really is a lovely jolly fellow.)
Even though we do not have much experience have an informed evaluation, the food was found to be enjoyable and the flavours sublime. In fact, N loved the potato dauphinoise so much, she decided to recreate it in our own kitchen.
Adapted from Josh Eggleton
400g of floury potatoes (e.g Maris Piper, Russet), peeled and sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, mashed
300ml of whole milk
200ml of double cream
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
To prepare the potato dauphinoise, finely slice the potatoes using a mandoline and set aside in water until required.
Combine the cream, milk, garlic, salt and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, strain potatoes and place in saucepan and cook for 3 minutes to infuse the potatoes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Layer potato slices inside a small oven dish, being sure to overlap each layer as you go.
Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3. Pour enough of the cream mixture over the potatoes to cover and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until slightly golden on top and tender through the middle.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Weigh down with butter, cheese or any other heavy square object and set aside in the fridge to press for up to 12 hours.
Reheat the potato dauphinoise in the oven set to 180°C/gas mark 4 for 15 minutes. Divide into 4 portions and serve immediately as a side dish.
To prevent potatoes from turning yellow, place them immediately in water after peeling them.