Video: Easy, cheesy gratins
Recipe: Potato and bacon au gratin
- 5 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, diced
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Sauté the bacon in a heavy large sauté pan over medium heat until just golden brown, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan.
Add the onions to the same pan and sauté until they are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until the onions are pale golden, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add the cream, milk, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Set aside.
Meanwhile, using a mandoline slicer or a very sharp knife, cut the potatoes crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Toss the potato slices in a large mixing bowl with the warm cream mixture to coat. Add the salt and black pepper and toss again.
Neatly arrange one-fourth of the potato mixture in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish or other 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese over. Repeat layering the remaining potato mixture and cheese 3 more times.
Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the potatoes are tender and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes. You should be able to gently poke a fork through the potatoes when finished.
Let stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly, then serve.
Recipe: Cauliflower gratin
- 1 large head cauliflower, broken up into bite-size florets (approximately 8 cups)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups good quality white Vermont cheddar cheese (approximately 7 3/4 ounces), grated
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Blanch the cauliflower for 3 to 4 minutes or until just barely tender but still with a bit of bite. Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl of ice water and cool completely.
Remove cauliflower from ice water and allow to dry completely, making sure that there is no excess moisture on the cauliflower as it will turn the gratin soggy. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Allow the butter to melt and whisk in the flour a little at a time, making sure to break up any lumps. Cook the flour and butter, stirring constantly, for 5 to 6 minutes, making sure that the mixture doesn’t get any color at all. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring the mixture up to a very low simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 to 12 minutes; the flour taste will be gone and the sauce should be smooth. Stir often and make sure the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the cheddar into the sauce and mix well until completely melted and smooth. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. If the sauce thickens too much, thin it out with a little milk.
Place the cauliflower in an even layer in a 10-inch x 10-inch ovenproof baking dish and drizzle the sauce evenly over the cauliflower. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the cauliflower and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, the top will begin to turn light golden brown in places.
Remove cauliflower from the oven and let stand at room temp for 5 minutes before serving.
© 2013 NBCNews
National Security Agency surveillance programs helped disrupt plots to bomb the New York Stock Exchange and the New York subway system, an FBI official told Congress on Tuesday.