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eG Cook-Off 54: Gratins


nakji
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Anyone else make it with sweet potatoes - Kumara Pie I think they call it in New Zealand.

Makes an extremely rich and sweet gratin, almost a desert.

Similar to breadcrumbing and deep frying, almost anything tastes good smothered in cream and baked.

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I made a brussels sprout gratin with dinner tonight: sauteed some pancetta and onion, made a roux with the fat from the pancetta and some butter, made the bechamel, added it to the blanched sprouts, added some Cabot extra sharp cheddar to that, and popped it in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Ordinarily I use bacon in this, but all I had handy was the pancetta, which worked fine, though I think that bacon is better here, the smokiness plays well with the sprouts and cheese.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin.jpg

Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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I made a brussels sprout gratin with dinner tonight: sauteed some pancetta and onion, made a roux with the fat from the pancetta and some butter, made the bechamel, added it to the blanched sprouts, added some Cabot extra sharp cheddar to that, and popped it in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Ordinarily I use bacon in this, but all I had handy was the pancetta, which worked fine, though I think that bacon is better here, the smokiness plays well with the sprouts and cheese.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin.jpg

That looks fabulous.

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My first attempt:

I used jackal10's quick gratin dauphinois from Recipe Gullet, because I was late getting dinner started, and I didn't want to wait around an hour and a half after getting it in the oven.

Random Chinese potatoes. Fairly waxy/wet.

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I don't have a mandolin, so I had to rely on my crack knife skills.

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Mixed in with cream - I used double, since I couldn't find single. I didn't have any milk in the fridge, but I think I should have thinned it out - maybe 1 cup double cream, 1 cup water, because the resulting dish was rich, to say the least. No fresh thyme, so I sprinkled in a few leaves. No onion in the house, either, so I added some thinly-sliced baby leeks.

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That cooked for ten minutes on the stovetop, which quickly tenderized the potatoes.

Then I tipped it into my incredibly posh gratin dish.

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I did NOT dot with butter, due to the aforementioned double cream.

Finished gratin:

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Served with a Vietnamese-French beef with mustard sauce, roasted tomatoes, and a nice pinot noir.

Problems: my double cream was just too rich. I like a drier gratin, so in the future, I think I'd dial the proportion of potatoes up and the liquid down. This is a great recipe if you want a gratin on the table in 30 minutes, though. The top managed that cheesy-flavour-without-cheese that makes Dauphinois such an incredible dish.

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I've had the gratin dauphinois recipe in Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook bookmarked long enough, so count me in.

I wish I hadn't waited so long to make this. It is so luscious and couldn't be easier to make!

Gratin Dauphinois.jpg

That looks REALLY good.

I snaffled some of this beautiful cavolo nero (aka Tuscan/lacinato/dinosaur/black kale):

cavolonero.JPG

Shredded it (and I'm a heathen, I LIKE the stem so keep it in), braised it with chopped shallot, garlic and a dried chilli, then stewed it in a little cream. Topped with a panko and parmesan mix and browned. Love the panko - extra crunchy and therefore addictive, as evidenced by the naked spot in this photo that my boyfriend had started picking at before I had time to take a picture!

cavologratin.JPG

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First effort: a potato and eggplant gratin. A bit boring. I probably should've used ricotta--or, at least, a certain percentage of ricotta--instead of/with the cream. Didn't have enough cheese. The crust was a mixture of breadcrumbs and some parmesan I'd been meaning to use up for a while. I'll try Fifi's eggplant gratin next. Also kicking around the idea of one with roast tomatoes and capsicums and chilli.

eggplantpotatogratin.jpg

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I never would have thought of putting eggplant and potato together - do they cook at the same rate?

Shredded it (and I'm a heathen, I LIKE the stem so keep it in), braised it with chopped shallot, garlic and a dried chilli, then stewed it in a little cream. Topped with a panko and parmesan mix and browned. Love the panko - extra crunchy and therefore addictive, as evidenced by the naked spot in this photo that my boyfriend had started picking at before I had time to take a picture!

Everything is better with panko.

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I've been known to make the occasional gratin. I wanted it to be a complete meal, so I put macaroni ('chiferi rigati' it said on the packet) in this one that I made yesterday:

DSCF0618.jpg

- with a fillet of fresh sea bass (about 1lb), cut up, four yari-ika (spear squid), sliced in fine rings, broccoli & cauliflower florets, and about half a pound of fresh parmesan, grated. Winter !

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Gorgeous! Gratin a la mer!

I want to talk the gratin layer.

Obviously, cheese is excellent. Blether, you used Gruyere for that? And rarerollingobject, you used panko for you breadcrumbs, right? My potatoes dauphinois formed their own crunchy layer from the cream - was it Steingarten who said the miracle of dauphinois is how it manages to taste cheesy without the addition of any cheese? And ChrisTaylor, you mixed cheese in with your breadcrumbs - I'm a real fan of mixing up the breadcrumbs with something else.

I just slid a pumpkin gratin in the oven - pumpkin slices tossed with cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Then, for the gratin layer, I took a page out of Jamie Oliver's book and topped it with a layer of "pangratto" - breadcrumbs, garlic, chili flakes, olive oil and an anchovy, whizzed in the blender. Not really "pangratto" since it won't be fried in the pan, but the flavours are there. I'm hoping it comes out well.

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How ironic, I was planning on making a Cabbage Gratin this next week. I found the recipe in an old Chinese cookbook I have. It's not specifically called a "Gratin" but rather noted as "Baked" but the techniques of a gratin are the same. It sounds very rich-lard or butter and evaporated milk are included in the recipe. The original recipe called for pork tenderloin but I like to substitute with Chinese Ham. I also add some chopped garlic, ginger and soy to the sauce for added flavor.

Baked Napa Cabbage and Butter

2 2/3 lbs. Napa Cabbage

4oz. chopped Chinese Ham or Chinese Sausage

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

2 cups stock vegetable stock

5 tbsp. butter or lard

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tbsp. chopped ginger

2 cloves chopped garlic

5 tbsp. flour

1 tbsp. soy sauce

2 cups retained cabbage cooking liquid

1/2 cup evaporated milk

Rinse the cabbage and cut it into quarters. Cook in vegetable stock until soft. Remove and drain, retaining the vegetable stock.

Heat the wok then add 4 tbsp. oil. Stir-fry the Chinese Ham; add the cabbage and the salt, sugar and 2 cups of the retained vegetable stock. Cook for 5 minutes; remove and drain, (retain the stock). The stock will be used later. Place the cabbage in a casserole dish. Preheat oven to 450.

Heat the wok then add the butter (or lard). Stir-fry the onion until soft; add the ginger and garlic; add flour and stir until "fragrant." Add the retained cabbage poaching liquid, soy sauce and stir to make a thick sauce; pour sauce over cabbage. Place the casserole in the oven. Bake casserole for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown; remove and serve.

It's a rich dish but a different way to make a gratin using cabbage.

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Higher water content than savoy, yes? That would concern me a bit....

Give it a quick dry saute first to dry it out a bit perhaps?

Or layer it w potatoes and reduce the cream?

I was thinking either to pre-salt and drain well or some sort of preliminary cooking. Seriously, I've got a lot, so this is probably going to happen.

David - yours sounds good too, and I'd certainly classify it as a gratin. It actually reminds me that I also wanted to braise some with my stash of trotter gear.

 

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I snaffled some of this beautiful cavolo nero (aka Tuscan/lacinato/dinosaur/black kale):

cavolonero.JPG

Shredded it (and I'm a heathen, I LIKE the stem so keep it in), braised it with chopped shallot, garlic and a dried chilli, then stewed it in a little cream. Topped with a panko and parmesan mix and browned. Love the panko - extra crunchy and therefore addictive, as evidenced by the naked spot in this photo that my boyfriend had started picking at before I had time to take a picture!

I'm making this tonight. Looks great.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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