Thursday, December 12, 2013

Classic Dishes in Classic Black - Pommes de Terre au Dauphinoise (Scalloped Potatoes the Dauphine Way)

Like most, I suffer from seasonal food cravings.  It's frigid and wet and nasty outside, so I want food that sticks to my ribs.  Food that makes me feel all warm and snugly inside.  Usually this entails massive quantities of fat calories.  This dish is no exception to the rule...  Think of it as complete and utter fat drenched potato Nirvana.

It's OK.  You can justify consuming this dish with relish for two reasons.  One; it is a classic dish made in Dauphine France.  One should always be well acquainted with the classics; be they literary or culinary.  Two, while you can just as easily prepare this dish in a Corningware French White, French Bisque or French Bleu 1.8 liter (F-6-B) casserole, if you are worried about the potential caloric intake from consuming said Potato Nirvana, I would highly recommend the Classic Black (aka: French Black).

Why, you ask?  The Classic Black dish has the magickal effect of lowering the fat content of this dish.  After all, we all know that black is slimming. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Pommes de Terre au Dauphinoise
(Scalloped Potatoes Baked in Cream and Nutmeg)

2 cups Heavy Cream; divided
2 lbs Russet Potatoes (although Yukon's work well also)
3 TB unsalted Butter; divided
2 Cloves of Garlic; divided
Kosher Salt or Fleur de Sel
White Pepper; finely ground
Freshly grated Nutmeg

Corningware French White/Bisque/Bleu/Classic Black 1.8 Liter Casserole (F-6-B)
~optional~ Pyrex Opal 2 1/2 quart Cinderella Bowl (#443)

Preheat the oven to 325F Degrees and peel the Potatoes (DO NOT rinse).

Pour 1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream in a Large bowl. (Pyrex 2 1/2 quart #443 works nicely)

Place a mandolin over the bowl of Cream and begin slicing the potatoes, letting them fall into the bowl of Cream. (use the guard please... fingers must remain intact for the next step)

Give the Potatoes a good tossing in the Heavy Cream to make sure they are well coated. (this will prevent browning)

Cut 1 of the cloves of garlic in 1/2 and rub the inside of the Classic Black 1.8 liter Casserole dish (F-6-B).

Then rub the dish down with 1 TB of the Butter.

Mince the remaining 1 1/2 cloves finely.

Sprinkle the minced garlic over the bottom of the 1.8 liter Casserole (F-6-B)

Begin layering in a circle around the edge of the pan, slightly overlapping the previous potato slice. Once the outer ring is complete, simply fill in the middle with more overlapped slices.

Sprinkle the layer with Salt, White Pepper and freshly grated Nutmeg.

Repeat the last 2 steps, two more times, but layer the potato slices in the opposite direction giving you 3 layers of potatoes.

(No more than 3 layers or it will take them way too long to cook)

Carefully pour the starchy cream from the bowl over the potatoes.

The level may not be quite high enough. You want the potatoes to be just barely covered, so you may have to add another 1/2 cup of heavy cream (I usually have to)

Dot the top layer with 2 TB Cultured Butter.

Bake for at least 50 minutes. (1 hour if using French White/Bisque/Bleu... Classic Black absorbs more heat and cooks slightly faster than regular white Corningware)

See what I mean about making sure there is enough room in the dish.... Nice and bubbly!

Check to see if the potatoes are tender, using a knife;

If not, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes (Low and slow is the key to keeping the resulting cream sauce from separating)

Remove the casserole dish from the oven and allow to set for 10 minutes.

Serve and consume with wild abandon!

Where is your Corningware!!


  1. thanks for the inspiration. I made pommes de terre au gratin.

  2. I was reading your comments on cleaning Corning ware. I was amazed that some people do not want to put it in the dishwasher but will use steel wool or oven cleaner. I have put my Corning ware in dishwashers as long as 20 to 30 years at best recollection and all that I have had for years is just as shiny and smooth as brand new.

  3. Shane, wondering if you have ever come across an S-10-B (waffle bottomed) skillet, and if so, what do you use it for? I picked one up cheap at a thrift store and frankly with all the well-seasoned cast-iron I have, I'm just not sure what to do with it? I love some CorningWare, but when it comes to well-seasoned cast-iron skillets, the CW just doesn't hold a candle.

    Any thoughts for a CW skillet? Here's an example:
    Note the 6th picture which shows the waffle-bottom quite well.


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