Potatoes dauphinoise, named for the Dauphiné region in south-east France from which it hails, has got to be the pinnacle of potato cookery. Nothing comes close. Good fries are great, mashed potatoes and lots of butter is pretty darn good, but nothing comes close to this gratin of potatoes. And it is simple to make.
The first time I had this dish was in a small French restaurant in the south of France. I couldn't believe how good it was, but when I asked for another helping, I was told that mine had been the last. It is a disappointment I will remember the rest of my life.
6-8 Yukon gold potatoes
2-3 cups heavy cream
1 sprig thyme
1 pinch nutmeg
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 f. Slice the potatoes into 1/4 in rounds. In a large pot add the potatoes and cream, along with the thyme, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove to a gratin dish, arrange to form a nice pattern, top with the cheese, and bake for 40 minutes. Let it rest 10 minutes before serving.