There’s something irresistible about a dish of creamy, bubbly potatoes. And while we enjoy scalloped potatoes as much as the next carb-lover, we can’t help but wonder if the mouthwatering layers of taters au gratin are really just dauphinoise potatoes in disguise. Gratin potatoes – Dauphinoise potatoes, they’re the same thing, right? Wrong.
Get the recipe for Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Potatoes au Gratin
Gratin is a French word that means the crust that forms on top of a dish when you brown it in the oven or under the broiler. The term originally comes from the French word “gratter” (to scrape) which refers to the need to scrape the crunchy bits of cooked food off the bottom of a dish so as not to waste it. In the case of a potato dish, the crunchy topping is usually from breadcrumbs or cheese and nowadays, “au gratin” is often used to refer to a dish topped and broiled until crunchy. Potatoes au gratin are slices of pre-cooked (usually boiled) potato cooked in cream and topped with cheese which makes the gratin.
Gratin Dauphinoise, on the other hand, is a dish made of thinly-sliced (not pre-cooked) potatoes that cook in cream. Dauphinoise traditionally does not contain any cheese. The starches in the potato mix with the cream to thicken the creamy sauce which contrasts with the crispy topping that comes from finishing the dish in a hot oven or a broiler.
Whichever way you cook your crunchy-topped potatoes, with cheese or without, it’s the perfect dish to ease into the cooler weather – the side dish that goes with absolutely everything! Here are a few different variations on creamy and/ or cheesy potatoes that will see you through the winter!
Get the recipe for Cheesy Potato Gratin
Get the recipe for Valerie’s Root Vegetable Gratin
Get the recipe for Spaghetti Squash and Cheesy Potato au Gratin
Looking for more tasty sides? Try more of our Perfect Potato Side Dishes.