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Gratin Dauphinois--Make a Day Ahead?

  • JoanN Dec 20, 2007 11:15 AM
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I'll be making the recipe from James Peterson's "Glorious French Food," which is mainly potatoes, heavy cream, and lots and lots of gruyere. I've seen a couple of (other) recipes that say it's fine to cook it a day ahead and reheat and others that say that's a no-no. I've never tried it, but would like to. What say you?

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  1. I really think it comes down to personal taste; I am sure that it would be fine re-heated; The only thing is that every time it gets re-heated the potatoes get mushier and mushier and the cream tends to dry out; I am making it also but I am putting it all together a couple days early, refrigerated and then cooked on X-Mas Day, the day it is being served.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bakerboyz

      But I've read that the potatoes will turn grey. Even in the cream. Even if it's only in the fridge for a couple of hours. Not true?

      1. re: JoanN

        I could be wrong but I don't think that they will turn grey if they are covered with the cream.

    2. Certainly not something I'd reheat as the spuds will lose texture.

      That said, I've never seen a Dauphinois recipe that included cheese

      1. I say cook it on the day of. I have had dauphinois reheated (worked in catering in the past). They -potatoes, that is- develop a mealy texture after reheat number one.

        3 Replies
        1. re: stellamystar

          Cook on day of but okay to prepare a day in advance? No graying?

          1. re: JoanN

            JoanN - this is from potatoes.com site - I was curious myself since we do potato pancakes at like 6:00 AM for breakfast..ugh.

            Uncooked cut or peeled potatoes will discolor due to exposure to the air. The potatoes may first turn pink, then brownish, then dark gray. None of the discoloration is harmful and usually disappears during cooking. To prevent discoloration, keep cut potatoes covered with cold water until ready to use - up to two hours. Holding longer than two hours will reduce some of the valuable water soluble nutrients.

            Cooked potatoes sometimes develop grey/blue/black areas as they cool. Just trim away the discolored portions.

            1. re: stellamystar

              Thanks, stellamystar. Two hours isn't much ahead, but better than nothing. I don't think I'll chance it by doing it the day before.

        2. I've never had any luck in reheating gratin dauphinois and have it retain it's glory successfully. Once a year I do make it a couple of hours ahead (I cover it with foil) and then put it back in a slow oven for 30 minutes or so when I get to the dinner at my friends house. It's still not quite as perfect, though. The main problem with reheating is that it will start to separate. I haven't had a problem with the potatoes turning grey (too much cream and cheese I think).

          I make Patricia Wells' recipe from "Bistro Cooking" and it is fabulous. And has lots of Gruyere in it.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Carole

            Didn't even think to look in "Bistro Cooking." I love that she adds some creme fraiche, and I like her herb combo as well. The Peterson recipe uses even more Gruyere, though. I think I might combine the two recipes. Thanks for the heads up. And for the prep info.

            1. re: JoanN

              You cannot go wrong with creme fraiche and gruyere. Delish!

              1. re: JoanN

                I use the Madame Cartet recipe on page 98. It's everyone's favorite. Very simple and you really taste the potatoes and cheese. I'm not allowed to substitute a different recipe <smile>.

                Just as aside, I also adore her Pear Tart Tartin recipe in the same book. Dead simple, just takes nerve to carmelize the pears long enough. Her directions are right on.

                I've had great success with many of the dishes from this cookbook and it's one of my favorites.

                1. re: Carole

                  Actually, the Madame Cartet one is almost exactly the same as the James Peterson recipe I had latched onto first. Just a bit less cheese; that's all. Still think I might add some creme fraiche. It just sounds too good not to.

                  I've made pear tartin, but not Wells's recipe. Thanks for pointing it out. In fact, I've had this book for a long time and made very little from it. Maybe it will be a Cookbook of the Month selection one day and that will give me the excuse I need to explore it as fully as it clearly warrants.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    I think we should have Bistro Cooking as as cookbook of the month! I just got it last week. I need an excuse to eat creme fraiche.