~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Vegetable Gratin...inspired by Iron Chef America

Vegetable Gratin........This dish was totally inspired while watching Iron Chef America, Flay vs. Hamilton. I watched the contender (Hamilton) make this dish as part of the menu... and called it the "Ugly Duckling". The dish may not look so appealing, but she  mentioned that everyone in her family loved it, even the kids! So I had to try it...

I knew the combination of the vegetables would have to taste great. She actually won:)...and  after making this dish myself, I think her dish was a winner! But I had to come up with my own dish, as there was no written recipe that I could fall back on. But I made sure to watch her every move:)...and made my own recipe.

I did notice that she baked the potatoes before adding the rest of the vegetables. And I immediately thought, how clever! This way the vegetables don't turn to mush and the potatoes are cooked all the way through. I decided to replicate it and try it for myself, but with my own additions. My husband loved it and I was thrilled!

I loved the fact that it doesn't have any meat and still tastes great! It is awesome as a side dish or as a main dish as well. We thought it was quite flavorful and delicious! I made a smaller portion using an individual gratin baking dish(about 5x5 in) and made 2 dishes. You can easily double, triple or multiply this dish to suit your needs. Hope you enjoy...

Tip: You can add some parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs

You will need: makes 2 dishes ...so divide the ingredients in 2

1 big russet potato( or 2 small)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated (you can definitely use whatever cheese you prefer)
1 large tomato (or 2 small)
1 med. yellow squash, sliced thinly
1 large shallot, thinly sliced (you can substitute any onion...red, yellow or sweet)
2 tsp onion powder
1-2 TBS butter, softened
olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs, or panko
2 tsp dried basil, or fresh

1. Wash the potato well. Slice potato thinly. I left the skin on for a more rustic feel. You can peel if you like.
2. Sprinkle some olive oil over the slices.
3. Season with onion powder, salt and pepper.
4. Butter gratin dish well and layer potato slices slightly overlapping the slices. You may do 3-4 layers.
5.  Dot with small pieces of butter and drizzle some olive oil.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 425-450 deg F. (I used my toaster oven at 450) till potatoes are cooked through, about 20 minutes. They should be a bit crispy...so adjust the time. Watch so that they don't burn.
7. Take out of oven and sprinkle some cheese.
8. Add sliced yellow squash and sprinkle a bit of cheese.
9. Add tomato slices, onion and a bit more of the cheese.
10. Sprinkle with some breadcrumbs.
11. Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with basil.
12. Return to the oven and bake till golden brown 15-20 minutes.

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