Thursday, May 3, 2012

Red Potato Gratin Dauphinois

  • 3/4 C heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 small to medium red potatoes
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 C Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 C fontina cheese, shredded
1.  Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, Dijon, and garlic; add salt and pepper. Cut the potatoes as thin as possible using either a mandoline or your sharpest knife and place them in the cream mixture to marinate.
3.  Rub the olive oil all over the sides and bottom of two gratin pans and then begin shingling the potato slices in a single layer on the bottom of the pans. When the first layer is finished, sprinkle a thin layer of both Fontina and Gruyere on top of the potatoes (it should be about 1 Tbsp of each, depending on the shape of your pan). Repeat this process until you have 3 layers of potatoes, then pour the cream mixture over the top, filling it up about halfway; make sure you reserve enough of the Gruyere to liberally coat the top layer of potatoes.
4.  Bake, uncovered, at 400°F for 30 minutes, then turn on broiler and broil for 2 more minutes.  Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Robyn's notes: this is another recipe I'm quite proud of.  It came out fabulously.  When the first 30 minutes of cook time had finished, I took the pan out of the oven, turned on the broiler, and poked through all three layers of potatoes with a toothpick, to see how tender they were.  If any part of them had been still crunchy, I would have broiled for longer than the 2 minutes, to get them nice and tender.  Fortunately all three layers were perfect, so the 2 minutes under the broiler was just right to give it an extra browning on top.  Since I'm not allowed to eat potato skins, I peeled my half of the potatoes.  I served this as a meal, but it can also be a side, though I'd recommend getting all the smallest potatoes possible if serving as a side.  

***** 5 Stars: Excellent. A favourite for both of us, I will make this repeatedly

Guide to Using Up Ingredients

I've added a page to the top of the blog entitled "Using Up Ingredients".  This is a cross-reference of the recipes by certain ingredients, so that if you've made something that called for, say, 1/4 C of plain yogurt, and still have the rest of the container to use up, you can look up yogurt on that page and find other recipes that call for it. 

The page is under construction, because it means I have to think of the ingredients that this is often a problem with, and search, list, and link each recipe for each, but it should be useful despite being incomplete.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

No-Roll Chicken Cordon Bleu

Note: plan ahead, chicken needs to refrigerate before cooking
  • 2 Tbsp ham, cut to a fine dice
  • 2 Tbsp Gruyere, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 C flour 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 C panko 
1.  In small bowl, stir together ham, Gruyere, and cream cheese.  With sharp knife, cut a pocket in each chicken breast half; stuff with ham and cheese mixture.  Place chicken on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet or pan.
3.  Spread flour in bottom of a shallow dish.  Beat together egg and Dijon, pour into another shallow dish.  Put panko in a third shallow dish.  Dredge chicken in flour, turning to coat.  Dip in egg mixture, covering well, and then dredge in panko, pressing with fingers to help panko stick to chicken all over.
4.  Place chicken breasts on wire rack set in pan.  Spray the top of each with a short burst of cooking spray (optional).  Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear.  Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Robyn's notes: I'm quite proud of this recipe.  I was thinking this morning "I've still got quite a bit of ham left, what should I do with it?" and then sat down and wrote this recipe for an altered chicken cordon bleu.  It came out very well, served over rice.  Swiss cheese can be used in place of the Gruyere, but it won't have the strength of flavour.  I made this a second time in May 2013, entirely because I needed a better photo for a project I'm working on.  That's the photo at the top of this entry, and it shows the chicken served alongside red quinoa. 

**** 4 Stars: Very Good. Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently

Monday, April 30, 2012

Crustless Mini Quiches

  • butter, for greasing pans
  • 2 Tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 C milk
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/3 C diced ham
  • 1/3 C Gruyere, shredded, divided
1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Butter the bottom and sides of two mini tart/quiche pans and dust with bread crumbs (1 Tbsp of crumbs into each).  Set aside.
2.  In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs together; add the milk, salt, and pepper. Add ham and all but 2 Tbsp cheese.
3.  Pour egg mixture into the prepared pans and scatter remaining cheese over tops.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until eggs are set.

Robyn's notes: this is very close to a Quiche Lorraine, but uses ham instead of bacon (mainly because I had ham in the house I wanted to use up).  I'm a big fan of breakfast for dinner, obviously this can be served basically any time of the day.  If you do not have mini tart pans, prepare a regular sized pie pan in the same manner and bake for 25-35 minutes, watching for the eggs to set.  It may be a much thinner quiche that way, I can't say for sure how far the egg mixture will go in a single large pan.  This turned out very well and I'm pleased with it because I always have bread crumbs in the house but rarely have prepared crusts or the energy to make a crust from scratch.  Good way to use up Gruyere if you've made Gnocchi Mac n Cheese recently.

**** 4 Stars: Very Good. Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently

Easy Berry Yogurt Muffins

Note: check yield before starting, this is a full-size recipe, makes 12 muffins
  • 1 1/2 C flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 C packed brown sugar 
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 3/4 C plain yogurt 
  • 2 Tbsp milk 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 C blackberries, frozen or fresh
1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line muffin tin with 12 paper cups.
2.  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar.  In another bowl, combine the melted butter, egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla until well mixed.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir.  Add in the blackberries and stir until just combined.
3.  Spoon batter into paper cups and bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, serving while still warm.

Yield: 12 muffins

Robyn's notes: I may eventually cut this recipe down, but sometimes you just have to make it once at full-size in order to determine the best method for halving the single egg.  These muffins definitely need the paper linings for the tin, they wouldn't have come out of a tin that's just been sprayed or greased.  When combining the wet ingredients, I melted the butter in the microwave, let it sit to cool while I combined the rest of the wet ingredients, then slowly drizzled in the butter while stirring.  If you add melted butter to cold egg, the egg will start to cook in the bowl.  For me, the 20 minute cook time was perfect, it definitely could not have come out any sooner and shouldn't go much longer, but some ovens might need one or two minutes more.  I used fresh berries.  The berries, by the way, are somewhat molten when the muffins first come out of the oven, so be careful.  Would make a good brunch muffin.  

**** 4 Stars: Very Good. Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently