08 October 2009

Zuccini-potato gratin

You have a couple of Zuccinis and 1 potato in the pantry - make Mekhala's Herbed Zuccini-potato torte or old fashioned gratin. I stuck it into the oven and forgot about it for 45 mins - now I have a delicious side for a couple of days. Not much to look at but delicious nonetheless.

Serves 5-6 as side dish

1 large yukon potato, cut horizontally into 1/4" circular slices
2 large zuccinis, cut into 1/4 " circular pieces
1 1/2 cups of milk and heavy whipping cream mixed half and half
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheese (parmesan or aged gouda or manchego - any cheese that is a salty and easy to grate)
2 tsps dried rosemary
  1. Saute zuccini slices in oil until they become slightly brown on both sides. The idea is to cook off most of the water in zuccini. If you don't do this, your gratim will turn out watery instead of crispy brown.

  2. Season milk-cream mix with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 375 deg. In a 9"x12" baking dish, layer the milk-cream mix such that it comes up to approx. a little less than 1/4". Layer potato slices - overlapping them slightly. To check if the milk-cream mix is at the right level, it should partially cover the potato slices on it edges when depressed into the mix.

  3. Add a single layer of cooked zuccini slices. Layer grated cheese - followed by leftover milk-cream mix.

  4. Continue layering until all of the milk-cream mix and zuccinis are used up. The topmost layer should be grated cheese and dried rosemary.

  5. Bake in the oven for 45 mins until the top is evenly browned. Check on the gratin in halfway through - if zuccini is sitting in liquid increase the temperature or if its bubbling wildly descrease the temperature. The idea is to maintain a temperature at which it is gently simmering and browning evenly while it cooks.

Good to know: The potato slices add starch to thicken the sauce and provide a stable base layer for the gratin.

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