RECIPE: Delmonico potatoes

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Brian Reid

Mar 14, 1986, 12:13:50 AM3/14/86

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.RZ "DELMONICO POTATOES" "A casserole of potatoes, rice, and cheese"
This recipe has been in my family for 100 years. The family legend was that
it came from the Delmonico Hotel in New York, whose chef, Charles Ranhofer,
had given it to my great-great grandfather under some circumstance in the
1880's. I recently managed to track down a cookbook by Ranhofer, published
in 1893, and alas, it contains no recipe that even remotely resembles this
Who knows? Maybe my great-grandmother got it from a newspaper. I guess it
doesn't matter much. I've watched 4 generations in my family grow fatter and
happier eating these potatoes, so who cares where it came from `way back
.IH "Serves 6"
.IG "14" "medium potatoes"
.IG "1/3 cup" "white rice"
.IG "6 Tbsp" "butter"
.IG "6 Tbsp" "flour"
.IG "3 cups" "milk"
.IG "1 tsp" "salt"
.IG "\(12 tsp" "pepper"
.IG "2 lb" "sharp cheddar cheese"
.SK 1
Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are cooked firm, about 20 or 30
minutes. Let them cool, then dice them into \(12-inch cubes.
.SK 2
Cook the rice in 1 cup of water with \(14 tsp of salt. Cook until soft, about
20 minutes. Drain.
.SK 3
Make 3 cups of medium white sauce: heat the milk in a saucepan; in another
saucepan, melt butter and brown flour in it. When flour is brown, dump hot
milk all at once into flour/butter mixture. Add salt and pepper, simmer for
10 minutes or more, stirring frequently.
.SK 4
Into the white sauce, stir \(12 pound of grated cheddar and the rice. Mix
.SK 5
Mix the sauce with the cold potatoes, then pour into a buttered baking dish.
Sprinkle generously with 1\(12 pounds of cheddar. Bake 1 hour at 325\(deF.
.SK 6
Let it cool, and put it in the refrigerator. Wait at least a day. Then
reheat and serve.
My grandmother always peeled the potatoes when she made this recipe; I never
do. I think that women of her generation were taught by their home economics
teachers that unpeeled potatoes were a sign of moral decay.
The most maddening thing about this recipe is how much better it tastes the
second day. There is no reason why you can't eat it fresh out of the oven,
but if you can muster the will power to put it aside after it has cooked and
to let it wait a day, the flavor will improve dramatically.
.I Difficulty:
.I Time:
1 hour to prepare, 1 hour to cook, 1 day to wait.
.I Precision:
Approximate measurement OK.
Brian Reid
DEC Western Research Laboratory, Palo Alto CA
decwrl!reid -or- re...@decwrl.DEC.COM

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