What is Potato Dauphinoise Nigella Lawson?
Nigella Lawson’s potato dauphinoise is a classic French dish of thinly sliced potatoes baked in a garlic and cream sauce. The potatoes are layered in a baking dish, soaked in a rich mixture of cream, milk, garlic, and cheese, then baked until tender and golden brown.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe:
- Uses simple ingredients found in most kitchens
- Potatoes turn out incredibly creamy and tender
- The garlic cream sauce is luxuriously rich and flavorful
- Parmesan cheese adds a lovely nutty, salty accent
- The caramelized top layer provides a wonderful texture
- An easy yet impressive side dish for special occasions
Ingredients Needed to Make Potato Dauphinoise Nigella Lawson:
- 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) waxy potatoes (Yukon Gold or Desiree)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- 300 ml (1 1⁄4 cups) double cream
- 200 ml (3⁄4 cup + 2 tbsp) full-fat milk
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 50g (1⁄2 cup) grated Parmesan
- Garlic press (optional)
- Mandoline slicer or sharp knife
- Large bowl
- Deep baking dish
- Whisk or spoon
Instructions to Make Potato Dauphinoise Nigella:
1. Preheat the Oven
- Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F) if it’s a fan/convection oven, or 180°C (355°F) for a conventional one.
2. Prepare the Garlic Infusion
- Rub the cut sides of the garlic halves all over the inside of a deep baking dish, then finely mince or press the garlic and set it aside.
3. Slice the Potatoes
- Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly, about 3mm thick. Use a mandoline slicer for consistency if you have one. Place the sliced potatoes in a large bowl of cold water to prevent browning.
4. Heat Cream and Milk
- Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan, add the minced garlic, grated nutmeg, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Gently heat the mixture until it’s hot, but not boiling.
5. Layer the Potatoes
- Drain the potatoes and pat them dry. Grease the baking dish with butter. Arrange a layer of potato slices at the bottom of the dish, slightly overlapping them. Season with a little salt and pepper.
6. Pour the Cream Mixture
- After a couple of layers, pour some of the hot cream and milk mixture over the potatoes, then continue layering until all the potatoes and cream mixture is used up. The cream should just about cover the potatoes.
7. Add the Cheese
- Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese evenly over the top layer of potatoes.
- Place the dish on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. The dauphinoise is ready when the top is golden brown, and the potatoes are tender all the way through when pierced with a knife.
9. Rest Before Serving
- Once baked, let the Potato Dauphinoise rest for 10 minutes before serving. This allows the layers to set slightly, making it easier to serve.
- Serve as a luxurious side dish with meats like lamb, steak, or roast chicken, or enjoy it as a main with a crisp green salad.
What to Serve with Potato Dauphinoise Nigella Lawson:
- Roasts like prime rib, rack of lamb, or chicken
- Hearty meat stews or braised dishes
- Grilled or pan-seared steak or chops
- As a vegetarian main course with a green salad
Pro Tips for Perfect Potato Dauphinoise:
- Thinly Sliced Potatoes: Use a mandoline slicer to get consistently thin potato slices for even cooking and a perfect texture.
- Infuse the Cream: Allow the garlic to infuse the cream and milk mixture by warming it gently, which will give the dish a deeper flavor.
- Cheese Choices: While Parmesan is a great choice, other cheeses like Gruyère or a mature Cheddar can add a different flavor profile to the dish.
- Season in Layers: Season each layer of potatoes as you go to ensure that every bite is flavorful.
- Resting Time: Don’t skip the resting time after baking as it allows the dish to set and the flavors to meld together.
How do I reheat Potato Dauphinoise Nigella Lawson?
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Remove the Potato Dauphinoise from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 20 minutes for even heating.
- Cover the dish with foil to prevent the top from burning or drying out.
- Reheat in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until heated through. If you prefer a crispier top, remove the foil for the final 5 minutes of reheating.
- For microwave reheating, place a serving on a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap to retain moisture, and heat on medium power in 1-minute intervals until hot.
What kind of potatoes works best for Nigella Lawson’s Potato Dauphinoise?
For the perfect texture in Nigella Lawson’s Potato Dauphinoise, you want to use starchy potatoes such as Russets or Yukon Golds. These varieties have the right amount of starch to absorb the creamy sauce and become tender during baking without falling apart.
Can I make Potato Dauphinoise ahead of time?
Absolutely! Potato Dauphinoise can be prepared a day in advance. Assemble the dish, cover it, and refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, bake it according to the recipe instructions, adding an extra 10-15 minutes to the cooking time since you’ll be starting from a cold state.
Is there a way to make a lighter version of Potato Dauphinoise?
Yes, you can lighten the recipe by using half-and-half or a combination of milk and cream instead of full heavy cream. Some recipes also use chicken or vegetable stock to replace some of the dairy components. Keep in mind, though, that altering the ingredients may slightly change the texture and taste of the dish.
How do I know when my Potato Dauphinoise is cooked perfectly?
Your Potato Dauphinoise is done when the top is golden brown, and the potatoes are tender. A knife should easily slide through the layers with little resistance. Also, the sauce should be bubbling around the edges, signaling that it’s hot and cooked through.