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Gratins


fifi
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If i may give my opinion here...

I used to work at a restaraunt , when we made gratin (I call it potatoe pavee) as I still make it at home, what I do is i will peel yukon gold potatoes, then on a mandoline shave the potatoe very thin - at the same time i have a pot with a cream/milk/butter mixture, along with a few whole cloves of garlic, and some nutmeg (is key) in it - on a low simmer - I will basically 'blanche' the potatoes in this mixture to partially cook them, literaly about 1 minute, then let cool, and begin to line a baking 'mould' with them - repeat these steps, put some parmasean cheese on top - and bake till golden.

This we have found is the most consistant way of making pavee, getting a layered, creamy, delicious end product.

-Justin

Your method makes for a very nice presentation and a consistent finished product. I prefer to make a simple rustic version at home. A cultural difference I'm noticing comes from the many posts that include cheese in gratins. I usually have a cheese course before my dessert. So I don't add cheese to my gratins. I would just get too cheesed out.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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For Christmas,I made Ina Gartens Spinach Gratin and it seemed more soufle like, but it was really good. The best part to me was that it used frozen spinach.

MMMMMMMM....frozen spinach.

I found it funny that Ina's Christmas dinner was a dummed down replica of the Christmas dinner that Emeril did the year before. I guess we know what she watches on TV.

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Has anyone tried celery root in a gratin?  I saw some fantastic ones this weekend at the market and I thought that might be a nice winter type dish.

I've used it with potatoes in a gratin. I find celery root to be a bit strong on its own.

You can blanch the celery root to soften the flavor.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Julia Child (who else?) came up with a gratinee of potatoes that I make for a crowd for special occasions--most recently this past Christmas.

For 6 people (or more)

Several TB soft butter

2 to 3 cups thinly sliced onions

12 10 16 medium "boiling" potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Swiss cheese (Gruyere?)

2 to 3 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 450.

Melt 2 Tbs butter in a saute pan and saute the onions slowly. Butter a baking dish and spread a 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom. Seasoned lightly with S&P and top with half the onions (which are not fully cooked at this point), then top with 1/3 of the cheese. Continue with 2 more layers of potatoes, onions, and cheese, ending with the last of the cheese. Dot with 2 TB butter and pour in enough chicken stock to come only halfway up the potatoes.

Bring pan to simmer on top of the stove and the place in the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Ideally the liquid will have been almost entirely absorbed when the potatoes are tender; if not, remove dish from oven and draw out excess liquid with a bulb baster. Boil the excess down rapidly in a sauce pan until thickened, pour it back into the dish and return to the oven for a few minutes to finish baking.

(FYI: I always have excess liquid and that's a good thing because reducing this down makes the most flavorsome addition. This is one of the few potato recipes where the leftovers taste just fine after being in the refrigerator).

I just think this tastes better than potatoes cooked in milk.

(This came from Julia Child's Menu Cookbook, which is a compilation of Julia & Company and Julia and More Company. My favorite Aunt gave it to me for Christmas many years ago and she has enjoyed a number of things from this book. :wub: )

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Julia Child (who else?) came up with a gratinee of potatoes that I make for a crowd for special occasions--most recently this past Christmas.

For 6 people (or more)

Several TB soft butter

2 to 3 cups thinly sliced onions

12 10 16 medium "boiling" potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Swiss cheese (Gruyere?)

2 to 3 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 450.

Melt 2 Tbs butter in a saute pan and saute the onions slowly.  Butter a baking dish and spread a 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom.  Seasoned lightly with S&P and top with half the onions (which are not fully cooked at this point), then top with 1/3 of the cheese.  Continue with 2 more layers of potatoes, onions, and cheese, ending with the last of the cheese.  Dot with 2 TB butter and pour in enough chicken stock to come only halfway up the potatoes.

Bring pan to simmer on top of the stove and the place in the oven.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  Ideally the liquid will have been almost entirely absorbed when the potatoes are tender; if not, remove dish from oven and draw out excess liquid with a bulb baster.  Boil the excess down rapidly in a sauce pan until thickened, pour it back into the dish and return to the oven for a few minutes to finish baking.

(FYI:  I always have excess liquid and that's a good thing because reducing this down makes the most flavorsome addition.  This is one of the few potato recipes where the leftovers taste just fine after being in the refrigerator).

I just think this tastes better than potatoes cooked in milk.

(This came from Julia Child's Menu Cookbook, which is a compilation of Julia & Company and Julia and More Company.  My favorite Aunt gave it to me for Christmas many years ago and she has enjoyed a number of things from this book. :wub: )

Sounds more like lyonaise gratin

Edited by RETREVR (log)
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Julia Child (who else?) came up with a gratinee of potatoes that I make for a crowd for special occasions--most recently this past Christmas.

For 6 people (or more)

Several TB soft butter

2 to 3 cups thinly sliced onions

12 10 16 medium "boiling" potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Swiss cheese (Gruyere?)

2 to 3 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 450.

Melt 2 Tbs butter in a saute pan and saute the onions slowly.  Butter a baking dish and spread a 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom.  Seasoned lightly with S&P and top with half the onions (which are not fully cooked at this point), then top with 1/3 of the cheese.  Continue with 2 more layers of potatoes, onions, and cheese, ending with the last of the cheese.  Dot with 2 TB butter and pour in enough chicken stock to come only halfway up the potatoes.

Bring pan to simmer on top of the stove and the place in the oven.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  Ideally the liquid will have been almost entirely absorbed when the potatoes are tender; if not, remove dish from oven and draw out excess liquid with a bulb baster.  Boil the excess down rapidly in a sauce pan until thickened, pour it back into the dish and return to the oven for a few minutes to finish baking.

(FYI:  I always have excess liquid and that's a good thing because reducing this down makes the most flavorsome addition.  This is one of the few potato recipes where the leftovers taste just fine after being in the refrigerator).

I just think this tastes better than potatoes cooked in milk.

(This came from Julia Child's Menu Cookbook, which is a compilation of Julia & Company and Julia and More Company.  My favorite Aunt gave it to me for Christmas many years ago and she has enjoyed a number of things from this book. :wub: )

Sounds more like lyonaise gratin

It is.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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fifi,

I love you. Thank you for this thread. :wub:

FYI, Steingarten has a chapter in one of his books about the very same "problem" that you're having - gratinizing everything he could get his hands on.

Gratins rule. My favorite that I've personally made (I'm sure I would love a chard gratin but just haven't tried it yet) is leek, cheese, and green chile.

Then again, I put green chile in damn near anything (even ice cream was a success), so there's my bias for you. :biggrin:

Andrea

http://tenacity.net

"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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fifi, this is such a great thread, the savory gratins sound amazing and make me want to make some. However, what do you all think of sweet gratins? Fruit gratin?

Edited by spaghetttti (log)

Yetty CintaS

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As a side dish, I like to make potato gratins that consist of a top and bottom layer of potato, and something else in the middle. The something else could be squash, fennel, sauteed leeks, sauteed mushrooms, sweet potato, parsnip, sauteed chicory, carrots, zucchini.. anything.

My alltime favorite gratin is potatoes layered with dried (and soaked) porcini mushrooms, minced shallots, garlic, parsley and parmesan. I add the soaking liquid from the porcini to the cream.

Another winter favorite is swede gratin with bits of bacon.

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fifi,

I love you.  Thank you for this thread.  :wub:

FYI, Steingarten has a chapter in one of his books about the very same "problem" that you're having - gratinizing everything he could get his hands on.

Gratins rule.  My favorite that I've personally made (I'm sure I would love a chard gratin but just haven't tried it yet) is leek, cheese, and green chile.

Then again, I put green chile in damn near anything (even ice cream was a success), so there's my bias for you.  :biggrin:

Andrea

http://tenacity.net

This sounds interesting. Can you give rough proportions -- how many leeks? fresh chiles? Do you roast them? What kind of cheese?

I'm feeling the need to gratin some leeks and chiles!!

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Somtimes, I make a light gratin with thinly sliced zucchinis, a tiny bit of very finely chopped garlic and a handful of basil leafs (and salt and pepper or nutmeg).

I only add cream or creme fraiche for the gratin. It makes for a spoon of colour and flavour intensive vegetable on the plate.

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For Dinner:

gallery_18727_742_88512.jpg

Potato and Fontina White Truffle gratin.

I scored some fontina cheese with little white truffle bits in it so I layered it in with the potatoes. Delicious, I had to almost physically restrain some of my family members from trying to take it out early because the truffle aroma was wafting all through the house. :laugh:

PS: I am a guy.

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fifi, this is such a great  thread, the savory gratins sound amazing and make me want to make some.  However, what do you all think of sweet gratins? Fruit gratin?

Hmmm . . . That is an interesting question. I am not sure that I have ever seen one but I think it would work. I am thinking that when I make a cobbler, my favorite bit is the crusty, gooey stuff in the corners. I am also thinking that you could top it with the crumbly mix. Think an apple crisp but flatter. :biggrin: Add some sharp cheddar maybe? I wonder if it will stick hopelessly to the pan?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Not quite a sweet gratin like you're picturing, but I've made an apple-onion-cheese gratin that was really tasty! And no, it didn't stick hopelessly to the pan...

Nikki Hershberger

An oyster met an oyster

And they were oysters two.

Two oysters met two oysters

And they were oysters too.

Four oysters met a pint of milk

And they were oyster stew.

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Great idea! My sister is in the last stages of destruction of one of these. I wonder how it would be with sweet potatoes? Someone on one of the other threads had done sweet potatoes with a chipotle "sauce" that could be dynamite with that combo.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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I make a gratin that I think you all may enjoy.

Blanch and shock 3 cups of young spinach leave

Blanch and shock 2 cups of julienne of fennel

Toss spinach and fennel together with about 2 teaspoons of EVOO

Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Place in gratin dish and top with generous layer of parm. reg.

Bake at 450 F about 10-12 minutes.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One of the things that I have noticed about gratins, while cooking my own and coaching various friends, is that the cooking time to get to ultimate doneness and caramelization varies greatly. For instance, I have coached several cooks through my eggplant gratin but they all had different pans. Since I have pretty much standardized on 325 degrees F in the lower part of the oven (so I can make comparisons) I have found wild differences in pan performance. That makes this one of those things that, if you are cooking for the first time, makes it very difficult to judge. When I do a new recipe, I will note the time it takes to get to the desired degree of doneness, and more importantly caramelization. This all makes it tough to write a recipe that doesn't give times in a plus or minus thirty minutes or more. :blink:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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fifi, this is such a great  thread, the savory gratins sound amazing and make me want to make some.  However, what do you all think of sweet gratins? Fruit gratin?

Hmmm . . . That is an interesting question. I am not sure that I have ever seen one but I think it would work. I am thinking that when I make a cobbler, my favorite bit is the crusty, gooey stuff in the corners. I am also thinking that you could top it with the crumbly mix. Think an apple crisp but flatter. :biggrin: Add some sharp cheddar maybe? I wonder if it will stick hopelessly to the pan?

a couple of ideas that hopefully hit on both trains of thought:

- a true French fruit gratin is typically a layer of seasonal fruit in individual gratin dishes covered with a layer of sabayon, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and run under the broiler until golden. It's a very easy hot dessert since the sabayon can be made in advance, and it assembles and cooks in minutes. Light in weight if not in calories. If you love fruit desserts, this is yummy. Think strawberries in the spring, raspberries and/or peaches/nectarines in the summer, pears and grapes in fall, assorted citrus in winter. whatever's fresh and available.

note: the little gratin dishes aren't expensive and make for a great presentation (and do double duty for brunch with various egg dishes).

- closer to what fifi's talking about is a clafouti (also French)--essentially a layer of soft fruit (cherries are traditional) covered in a slightly sweet, egg-y batter. It's cooked in a larger cake pan or skillet. What you end up with is something like a large, fluffy fruit pudding/pancake. this is essentially a home-y dessert, not often seen in a restaurant. Very easy.

both are elevated by a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.


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wow--a mouth-watering photo, thanks for the link, though now I'm coveting one of those lovely pans she uses.

I've been mulling over various menus for a very informal dinner gathering tomorrow night and now I know what I'll be making for dessert. This time of year I only have access to frozen cherries but I think I'll they'll do. yum!


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