It's hard to believe, but after making Julia's boeuf bourguignon and pommes de terre sautées, I was still in mood for more French food. My next attempt was her râpée morv andelle, or gratin of shredded potatoes with ham, eggs and onion. Even though it's classified under "entrées and luncheon dishes" I made it for dinner.
The gratin smells delicious as it's cooking, but Seth could immediately tell that it would be "bad" for us. Between the whipping cream, Swiss cheese, and butter, it's a heavy meal. I tried to balance out the decadence by serving salad with the gratin. I also will not be cooking anymore French food for at least two weeks so we can take a break from all the butter.
Julia's gratin is a good dish, but I tend to prefer stronger cheeses (I make my quiche with white cheddar rather than Swiss), so this was a bit mild for my tastes.
Râpée Morv Andelle
by Julia Child
1/2 cup finely minced onions
2 Tb olive oil
4 Tb butter
1/2 Tb butter, cut into pea-sized dots
1/2 cup finely diced cooked ham
1/2 clove crushed garlic
2 Tb minced parsley and/or chives and chervil
2/3 cup grated Swiss cheese
4 Tb whipping cream, light cream, or milk
Pinch of pepper
1/4 tsp salt
3 medium-sized potatoes (about 10 oz.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook the onions slowly in the oil and 2 Tb butter for about 5 minutes, until tender, but not browned.
Raise heat slightly, stir in ham, and cook a moment more.
Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl with the garlic, herbs, cheese, cream or milk and seasonings. Then blend in the ham and onions.
Peel the potatoes and grate them (use the grater's larger holes). A handful at a time, squeeze out their water. Stir potatoes into egg mixture. Check seasoning. The gratin may be prepared ahead to this point.
Heat 2 Tb butter in an 11 to 12-inch baking dish or ovenproof skillet about 2 inches deep, or 4 individual baking dishes about 6 inches in diameter. When the butter is foaming, pour in the potato and egg mixture. Dot with 1/2 Tb butter that has been cut into pea-sized dots. Set in upper third of preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is nicely browned.