I am one of those moms that will ask my kids if they had a certain dish in mind for dinner, I also tend to ask them before they fully wake up. Normal response from daughter is
“Really mom? Can I smoke, have my coffee first” (Smoking I’m not even going to go there…lol) or “Mom! It’s way to early to be thinking of dinner”
Now my son who is a mere nineteen years young, and very health conscious of his weight, will just give
“that look” that we used to give them when one would ask one of those “Are you kidding me questions” and he answered with….
I’m having salad or Tilapia.
So a few days ago at the market I picked up a nice bag of potatoes, and decided I would ask the first kid I saw the next morning if they would like me to make their favorite potato dish. Next morning I saw my son first and asked if he would like me to make him whole wheat gnocchi?
I’m having salad or Tilapia.
So when my daughter got up to start getting ready for work I told her when she gets home I’ll have her favorite potato dish in the fridge for her.
Mom, can you make this on my day off instead so I actually get some. 😦
My son is 6.1 and 280 lbs and like millions of others has a weakness for a great tasting dish or bowl of cereal depending on the mood craving, and time of day.
So the following day was actually her day off and I made her favorite side dish, and I’m glad i waited that extra day.
My 9×13 casserole dish with my cheesy potato gratin was gone by 10 pm!
Gratin is a culinary technique in which a completed dish topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter. The gratin originated in French cuisine and baked in an oven proof shallow dish. A gratin is either baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crisp crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish, also known as casserole dish.
The origin for “gratin” is from the French language in which the word gratter meaning “to scrape” or “to grate” as of the “scrapings” of bread or cheese, and gratiné for the crust or skin. Cooking au gratin is widely used cooking method in many dishes that includes meat, fish, various vegetable and pasta dishes, fennel, leeks, crab meat, and eggplant. In North America we have referred to this dish as scalloped potatoes, potatoes au gratin, or au gratin potatoes.
In case you did not know there are various methods for cooking a gratin, here are a few examples.
Pommes de terre gratinées
To make “potatoes with cheese, large potatoes covered in flour and baked in the oven, then cut in half and skin removed. It is then mashed and mixed with butter, cream, grated cheese and seasoning. The potato mixture placed back in their skins, sprinkled with more grated cheese and browned in the oven or under the grill.
This dish is from the Dauphiné region of France. The dish is typically made with thinly sliced potatoes layered with cream and cooked in a buttered dish rubbed with garlic.
This dish is a found in the neighbouring Savoie region. Its made with sliced potatoes, Beaufort cheese, butter cut into pieces with a bouillon as the liquid.
Other gratin style dishes are;
An alternative to using potatoes in a gratin is the use of pasta that hold their shape, texture and wont soak up all the cheese or sauce while baking. Type of pasta for this gratin are penne, rigatoni, fusilli/spirelli, or tagliatelle.
This gratin is a British recipe, based on Charles Elmé Francatelli’s recipe of 1861. This classic dish of sole baked in a white wine and a mushroom sauce topped with mushrooms, shallots and parsley.
Cozze gratinate is a mussels-based recipe found in Italy.
Gratin Languedocien is a preparation made with eggplant and tomato, covered in breadcrumbs and oil, then browned.
This dish is similar to the Italian dish known as melanzane alla parmigiana, or more commonly known as eggplant Parmesan Other vegetables commonly used in gratin dishes include cauliflower,spinach,and butternut squash.
A gratin with potatoes, onions, and preserved fish is a traditional Swedish dish, and is similar to a French dish of potatoes with anchovies.
The sauces typically used in gratinéed vegetable dishes is the, Béchamel sauce and Mornay sauce. These sauces are also used in many other gratin dishes.
And here is my version of the gratin which I think is closer to the Gratin Dauphinois.
In my version I use minced garlic, diced onion and two types of cheeses that not only pair well with each other, but
melt into a smooth white sauce topped with bread crumbs and of course more cheese.
5-8 med-large potatoes; washed, peeled and cut into 1/4 in slices
3 cups milk
2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 slice of bread; toasted and grind/grated into crumbs
Wash potatoes, then peel and slice into 1/4 inch rounds with a sharp knife, or mandolin. Rinse well with running water and lay out on paper towels to dry.
Chop onion and garlic, set aside. Toast slice of bread, then grate/grind to a bread crumb texture and put into small bowl with 1/2 cup of cheddar and jack cheese, mix well set aside.
Using a medium sauce pan and over low heat warm milk and add minced garlic and diced onion.
In a small sauce pan melt unsalted butter and add flour, whisking continuously over medium heat for 2-4 minutes.
Pouring slowly and while whisking add flour mixture to sauce pan of warmed milk. Sauce will start to thicken within a few minutes.
Place potatoes in a large bowl and pour over potatoes white sauce. Using a large slotted spoon make sure potatoes are evenly covered in the white sauce. Salt & Pepper to taste.
Using an oven proof casserole dish 9 x 13 layer the bottom with the potato and white sauce, then add layer of cheddar & jack cheese, repeat steps.
Top casserole dish with cheese & bread crumb mixture. Cover and place into oven to bake for 1 hour, mid way through baking rotate casserole dish unless you are using a convection oven.
After an hour remove foil and check to make sure potatoes have cooked all the way through, by testing with a fork. Turn off oven And let cheese and bread crumbs toast last ten minutes sitting in the oven, if you like a really browned and crispy crust.
Serve as a side dish or next time there is a potluck make a gratin, its easy to make and will hold up well. Just remember it is a dairy based dish that needs to be kept chilled till your ready to present it.
- International Food Festival : France presents Vegetable-Au-Gratin by Sonal (simplyvegetarian777.wordpress.com)
- Brussells, ma belle… You will love this gratin (sniffkiss.com)
- A Healthier Vegetable Gratin (kelliesfoodtoglow.com)
- Fennel and Spaghetti Squash Gratin (littlewhiteapron.com)
- Ziti al Forno (cuisineamerigo.com)
- Caramelized Onion and Tomato Tart Au Gratin (cantstayoutofthekitchen.com)
- Eggplant Parm – Super Fantastic Healthy Version (stormofcabbages.wordpress.com)
- International Food Festival : Italy presented by Priya with Pasta e Fagioli (simplyvegetarian777.wordpress.com)
- Chez Olivier (dammitjanetilovefood.wordpress.com)
- wild card wednesday: asparagus manchego tart, kale gratin with comté, and roasted chicken thighs (bungalowkitchen.wordpress.com)