Friday, April 24, 2009

Dîner vendredi

Friday is unpredictable as far as who will be at home for dinner; this evening, it will just be me. To save a trip to the grocer, I decide on a potato gratin, to finish the potatoes I bought earlier in the week. And because I’m going to have a starch, I decide to pass on buying bread.

A potato gratin is easy to make and can be eaten as a side dish as part of a larger meal. But this evening the gratin will be my meal, served alongside asparagus and cheese. I preheat the oven to 350°, take out my favorite Emile Henry gratin dish and butter the bottom and sides.

I slice the potatoes and layer them in the gratin dish, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper as I go. I like three layers in my gratin, and I have just enough potatoes. I add milk and a few small bits of butter and place the gratin in the oven to bake for about one hour, or until the potatoes are tender and the top is browned and crisp. While the gratin is baking, I prepare the asparagus for steaming. There's just enough asaparagus from yesterday's purchase to round out my dîner.

So for this evening’s meal, I didn’t even need to go to the grocery, a welcome break after a busy week. There are several variations on this gratin: use cream instead of milk, add cheese, add onion, add meat or vegetables, and they are all delicious. Again, it was the staples that made it easy: milk, butter, potatoes, salt and pepper.

Once out of the oven, the gratin cools while I cut some cheese, pour a glass of wine, et voila. A perfect dîner for one, and the remaining gratin will make a meal for the latecomers who didn’t make it to dinner.

Are you ready for the weekend?

Tomorrow's post: Le marché


  1. Yum, we usually make gratin in the winter. What cheese and wine did you have?

  2. I bet your meal was really yummy. I love asparagus.

  3. Comté et bordeaux blanc!

    I also make gratins in the winter, when root vegetables are plentiful at the farmer's market. Last evening I wanted to use up the potatoes, and I wanted vegetarian, so the gratin was an obvious choice.