Sunday, 5 May 2013

Recipe - Gratin

I like to try new recipes. (I actually have a food blog in case you hadn't heard?) They're always edible, usually somewhat tasty, sometimes really tasty and very occasionally, bloody phenomenal. What happens to make things bloody phenomenal I don't know. Or at least, I don't know when it comes to recipes I'm trying for the first time. The things which I cook a lot, I've nailed. Unfortunately, they're not usually very interesting so only I get to eat them. (I enjoy some pretty gourmet lunches.) This was one such meal. I don't know if it was because I was concentrating particularly hard or if it's because my housemate brought strange kitchen synergy but this was good. My one mistake was forgetting to fish out the bay leaves. Incredibly once remarked that he's unsure of what bay adds. I admit that I too wonder that sometimes. Not anymore. I know very well the taste of bay. And I know that it's not pleasant to fish out of mouthfuls.
Leek and mushroom gratin
6 rashers smoked bacon, sliced into lardons (optional)
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 leeks, chopped and washed
Handful of button mushrooms, chopped
3 large potatoes, unpeeled, thinly sliced and parboiled in salted water
30g butter
30g flour
300ml milk
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
75g butter
Black pepper
1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
Breadcrumbs mixed with 25g cheese

In a casserole, melt a tbsp of butter, fry the onion, bacon, mushrooms, garlic, and leeks for about ten minutes on a medium heat then turn the heat up for the last five minutes so the liquid evaporates and the bacon crisps.
Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce - melt butter, stir in flour, add milk slowly with the bay, cloves and nutmeg and stir until smooth.
Add the cheese and black pepper.
Pour the cheese sauce, dijon mustard and potatoes into the casserole.
Season with black pepper and stir well, arranging the potatoes evenly.
Top the mixture with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for thirty - forty minutes at gas mark five until cheese is bubbling and the topping is browned.

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