eat in my kitchen

To cook, to bake, to eat and to treat.

Tag: gratin

Potato, Apple and Black Pudding Gratin

Potato, Apple and Black Pudding Gratin

Golden potatoes, apples and onions roasted together make a wonderfully sweet and fruity gratin but you can top that by spreading a few slices of black pudding (or German Blutwurst) over the fruit and vegetables. Sprinkle this oven beauty with fresh thyme and you’ll be rewarded with the most aromatic winter gratin!

Black pudding has a difficult image – unfortunately! Although the taste is often enjoyed, I know quite a few who have a problem with the fact that the sausage gets its dark red colour from blood. It’s one of the oldest sausages which was highly appreciated by the Romans and it also got mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey: “As when a man beside a great fire has filled a sausage with fat and blood and turns it this way and that and is very eager to get it quickly roasted .” I love its sweet and aromatic taste and soft texture. I often fry slices of Blutwurst in butter for just a few minutes and eat them with mashed potatoes, fried onions and apples. This is the German classic called Himmel und Ääd, meaning Heaven and Earth, it’s very popular in the Rhineland area where I come from. I mentioned this great combination of fruits from the soil and the trees when I wrote about my parsnip and pear soup.

For my gratin, I layered slices of boiled potatoes, apples and onions and put the sausage on top. You could also tuck them in between the vegetables but then you would miss out on their almost caramelized texture. After 30 minutes in the oven, the blood pudding turned into crunchy bites which were still soft inside, it was so good!

Potato, Apple and Black Pudding Gratin

 

Potato, Apple and Black Pudding Gratin

 Potato, Apple and Black Pudding Gratin 

For 2 as a main or 4 as a side dish you need

potatoes, peeled, boiled and sliced, 650g / 1.5 pounds
large onion, cut in half and sliced thinly, 1
large sour apple, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced, 1
black pudding, peeled and cut into 0.5cm / 1/4″ slices, 200g / 7 ounces
olive oil
sea salt and pepper
fresh thyme, a small handful

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F (I used the Rotitherm roasting setting) and brush the bottom of a baking dish (around 28 x 20cm / 11 x 8″) with olive oil.

Layer the potatoes, apples and onions in the dish. Sprinkle with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper and put the sausage and thyme on top. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Check after 20 minutes, if the sausage gets too dark, put it under the potatoes.

Potato, Apple and Black Pudding Gratin

 

Potato, Apple and Black Pudding Gratin

Gratin with Cauliflower and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Cauliflower + Potato Gratin

This is a recipe my father used to make for us when we were children. We all loved it because of the cheese and mashed potatoes! I still do as it’s one of the few dishes made with cauliflower that I really like.

When I wrote about my ginger, lemon and cauliflower soup I mentioned that I don’t use this pretty white cabbage so often in my kitchen, I only like it in a few combinations. I don’t have anything against its unique taste, it just needs the right treatment to bring out its sweet side. The mashed potatoes are a good choice, seasoned with nutmeg which I also use for the cauliflower to refine its taste, they are a good match. I didn’t want to disturb the mild flavours in the gratin so I picked a soft cheese for the crunchy crust, not too ripe and overpowering. I used a hard Gouda, this Dutch cheese melts well and develops a nice crust under the grill, it’s also the cheese my father used for this meal.

This recipe is very simple to prepare, a whole cauliflower cooked in one piece, pushed into creamy mashed potatoes and baked with cheese to a golden gratin. If you need a quick dinner for a handful of people, this is the perfect choice!

Cauliflower + Potato Gratin

Gratin with Cauliflower and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

For 4 people you need

a whole cauliflower, around 700g / 25 ounces
potatoes, peeled, 650g / 23 ounces
garlic, in its skin, 3 big cloves
milk 200ml / 7 ounces
butter 50g / 2 ounces
nutmeg, freshly ground
salt and black pepper
hard cheese (Gouda, Emmentaler or cheddar), thinly sliced, 100g / 3.5 ounces

Cook the potatoes together with the garlic in salted water for 20 minutes. Rinse the potatoes under cold water for a few seconds and peel the garlic. Mash the potatoes together with the garlic, milk and butter, whisk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Cook the cauliflower in lots of salted water al dente (around 10 minutes), it should be soft with bite without falling apart.

Scrape the mashed potatoes into a baking dish, put the cauliflower on top and push it down. Season the cabbage with salt, pepper and nutmeg and cover it with the cheese. Bake under the grill for a few minutes until golden brown, bubbly and crisp, slice like a cake and serve immediately.

Cauliflower + Potato Gratin

Potato Porcini Gratin with Raclette and Thyme

Potato Porcini Gratin

Imagine bubbling Raclette cheese, golden potatoes, earthy Porcini and aromatic thyme and you have all the strong but well balanced flavours of my hearty gratin. Add some cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg and you’re pretty much done. It’s a quick one, the potatoes are boiled already and I used dried Porcini which only had to soak for a couple minutes. Normally I make my gratin with raw potatoes, sliced very thinly, several layers stacked on top of each other with cheese in between. It takes longer to prepare and to cook, I didn’t have the time so I went for a quicker one.

I like to cook with dried Porcini. It’s convenient as you can use them all year round and they are really tasty, even more intense than the fresh ones. I always use the liquid after I soak them in water as it absorbs lots of the mushroom’s taste. It’s great for risotto or, in my case, to mix with the cream. It makes a lighter sauce than my usual gratin milk and cream mixture. I add some thyme which is the perfect herb for Porcini (parsley also fits well but the thick thyme leaves give it this nice wintery touch). I cut the potato slices quite thick, I don’t want them to become mushy when they soak a bit of the sauce. To finish it off it just needs some strong meltable cheese sprinkled on top. Swiss Raclette became one of my my favourites over the past years as it tastes really strong. I don’t like to drown my poor food under piles of cheese for a bit of taste, I rather use less of a good and aromatic one.

Potato Porcini Gratin

Potato Porcini Gratin

For 4 people as a side dish, or for 2 as a main, you need

boiled potatoes, cut into thick slices, 800g / 1 1/2 pound
dried Porcini, soaked in 120ml of warm water, chopped, 20g / 1 ounce
(keep the water, you will need 100ml for the sauce)
heavy cream 100ml
Raclette cheese, grated, 50g / 2 ounces
thyme leaves of 2-3 sprigs
salt and black pepper
nutmeg, ground
olive oil to brush the baking dish

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F.

Arrange the potato slices in the oiled baking dish. Mix the cream, Porcini water, chopped Porcini, cheese and thyme leaves. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and pour over the potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden. At that point you can also put the gratin under the grill for a couple minutes so that the cheese becomes a bit crisp.

Potato Porcini Gratin

A hearty Potato and Parsnip Gratin

I feel really excited when I see food bubbling in the oven. I can sit in front of the glass oven door and watch it become golden, rising up and down and filling the kitchen with the kind of smell that you just achieve with oven dishes. Especially with a gratin! For tonight we will have a very hearty gratin with potatoes, parsnip, onions and bacon and enhanced with nutmeg, cloves and brandy. This creates an addictive combination of hearty and sweet through the parsnip and brandy. We always plan to make bigger portions to have some leftovers for the next day but with gratin we never manage. Today is the same – it is all gone already.

Potatoe Parsnip Gratin 2

Potato and Parsnip Gratin

For 3 as a main or 4 as a side dish you need

4-5 big potatoes, peeled or rinsed and sliced
4 big parsnip, peeled or rinsed and sliced
1 small onion, cut into thin rings
bacon, cut into small cubes, 40g / 1.5 ounces
butter 30g / 1 ounce
heavy cream 75ml
milk 200ml
water
garlic, crushed, 1 clove
nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
brandy for deglazing
sea salt and pepper

Set the oven to 220°C / 430°F. Our oven has a Rotitherm roasting setting which works perfectly for gratin, it combines the grill setting with fan circulation, but the top / bottom oven setting works as well.

Heat the butter in a large pan, fry the bacon and onions on medium heat until golden and add the garlic. Add the potato and parsnip slices to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze with brandy and pour the cream and milk on top, add a little water until everything is covered. Now add the spices and season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer until the potatoes and parsnip are almost done. Arrange the potato and parsnip slices in a baking dish or roasting tin and pour the bacon/ milk/ cream mixture over the vegetables. Bake for 8-10 minutes in the oven until golden brown.