Light Sweet Potato Gratin

Light Sweet Potato GratinLooking for new ways to make dishes I like but in a lighter version, I came across this gratin recipe (in French) and decided to give it a try. Continue reading

What I liked about this gratin is that its lightness makes it a dish you can also easily throughout the whole year; even when temperatures rise and you don’t want to eat something too heavy. In my version of the recipe I used sweet potatoes instead of regular ones as they deliver more nutritionally. What I liked about this recipe was its consistency, the potatoes just melted in my mouth. Also, as I can be a little lazy, I loved how you just throw everything in a baking dish and the oven basically takes care of the rest.

Light Sweet Potato Gratin Light Sweet Potato Gratin

 

Light Sweet Potato Gratin

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 50 min

 

Ingredients:

1 kg peeled sweet potatoes

2 dl milk (eventually more if needed)

150 g low fat cream cheese

Salt and pepper

A small pinch nutmeg

1-2 garlic cloves

Butter to grease baking dish

50 g grated cheese (I used Gruyere)

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 170° C

Thinly slice the potatoes using a slicer or a knife.

In a bowl mix the milk and the cream cheese together and add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pass the garlic cloves through a garlic crusher, add them to the bowl and mix again.

Grease a baking dish with the butter and arrange the potatoes in layers. Pour on top the cream cheese and milk mix. Because the sweet potatoes tended to curl up, I covered the gratin with oven paper and put a small lid on it (another type of weight works as well).

Bake for 25 min in the middle of the oven, remove the lid and paper and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. If the gratin looks a little dry add a little more milk. Bake for another 25-30 min uncovered. Once the top has a nice brown colour and the sweet potatoes are nice and soft remove from the oven and serve.

 

29-08-2015 The Day We Said Yes & A Welcome to Autumn

29-08-2015 The Day We Said Yes & A Welcome to Autumn

The reason I took a break last week is because on the 29th of August we got married! 😀

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Since I still had guests from away that stayed home I decided to dedicate my attention to them…besides the fact that I really needed some rest from all the pre-wedding stress and the partying (the night before the big event I only slept four hours). I can only say that the day exceeded my expectations as we had such an incredible time, ambience and weather: a day made of all the flavours of love. Here are just a few of the pictures from a wedding in southern Switzerland.

 

Since our wedding occurred on the last actual weekend of real summer weather and now we’re gently slipping into autumn I decided to welcome the new season by cooking something with butternut squash. A nice casserole/gratin always makes me happy and with cooler evenings it’s a dish that works well. I wanted the flavours to “marry” well together. After consulting my Flavour Thesaurus from Nikki Segnit I decided to use some goat cheese and rosemary to accompany the butternut squash and potatoes. I decided to lightly roast the potatoes and butternut before baking them in the oven, this added some extra flavour to the dish. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Butternut Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

 

 

 

Butternut Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 20-25 min

Cook time: 40-45 min

 

Ingredients:

500 g waxy potatoes

500 g butternut squash

1 tbsp. chopped rosemary leaves

2 garlic cloves

Cayenne pepper

1.5 dl milk

200 g sour cream (I used ½ fat)

1 egg

100 g grated hard goat cheese

1 tbsp. vegetable oil (+ extra to grease baking dish)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Peel the potatoes cut them into 2 cm pieces. Bring a pan filled with salty water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they’re soft. Once they’re ready drain them.

Meanwhile cut the butternut squash into 2 cm pieces, too. Pass the garlic through a garlic crusher.

On a medium fire, in a non-stick pan heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil and add the potatoes and butternut pieces to brown. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Toss regularly. After about 10 minutes add the rosemary and garlic and continue cooking for another 5-10 min.

In a bowl combine the sour cream, milk and the egg and mix all together.

Grease a baking dish and transfer the vegetables, on top sprinkle the grated goat cheese and finally pour the milk, sour cream and egg mixture.

Cook in a preheated oven at 220°C for 15-20 min.

Quinoa Cauliflower Casserole

Quinoa Cauliflower Casserole Since a few years the Ascension a Pentecost period rhymes with little sleep, a concentrated social life and little time to get ahead with my projects… Continue reading

so I hope I didn’t make any mistakes while writing this recipe. Since casseroles are a love of mine I thought I’d make one with an eye on the healthy side. I used quinoa, cauliflower and tried to limit the amount of milk I used to remove a few calories. Although I guess the problem of something one likes, has a lot to do with the quantity besides the kind of food being served. I admit that since I liked it, I didn’t pull back and ended up feeling stuffed. Fortunately regrets didn’t last for long. I hope you’ll like it and meanwhile I wish you all great weekend.

 

Quinoa Cauliflower Casserole

 

 

Quinoa Cauliflower Casserole

 

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 45 min

 

Ingredients:

650 g cauliflower florets

200 g quinoa

2-3 garlic cloves

4 tbsp. butter (plus extra to grease the baking dish)

4 tbsp. flour

Nutmeg

5 dl stock

2 dl milk

3 tbsp. canola oil

80 g grated cheese (I used Gruyere)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Cook the quinoa in two times its volume in salted water for 12-15 min. Once done set aside.

Meanwhile cut the cauliflower florets into smaller florets, about the size of a small walnut.

Finely chop the garlic.

Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and add the cauliflower. Cook on a medium-high fire for a couple of minutes stirring regularly. Season the cauliflower with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and reduce fire if the cauliflower is browning too quickly. Cook for a further 4-6 min. Once done, remove the pan from the fire, add in the quinoa and mix. Now transfer the whole to a greased baking dish and set aside.

On a low-medium fire melt the butter in a pan with high sides, add a little nutmeg and the flour and start whisking for 3-4 min. Now start pouring the milk little by little while still whisking. Once the milk is finished start pouring the stock. Let the white sauce densify between one addition of liquid and another. Once you have used up all the liquid and your sauce is ready remove the pan from heat and add in 50 grams of the grated cheese and stir.

Pour the white sauce on top of the quinoa and cauliflower. With the help of a spatula or a fork gently integrate the white sauce with the other ingredients. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and cook on the upper part of your preheated oven a 190°C for about 20 min or until top is nice and brown. Remove from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

 

Spinach & Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin


Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin The great thing with spaetzle is that it’s a made from scratch type of pasta is quick to prepare and doesn’t need great skills to put together. Continue reading

Personally I love the consistency and taste of spaetzle. For this gratin recipe I’ve added mushrooms and spinach because they are a delicious flavour combination that is easy to find all year round. I served this dish with a simple salad but if you want to serve some meat, a nice piece of chicken would marry well with the rest of the ingredients.

Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin

 

Spinach & Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 40-45 min

 

Ingredients

 

Spaetzle:

400 g flour

4 eggs

1.5 dl milk

1.5 dl water

2 tsp. salt

 

Gratin:

2 knobs butter (plus more to grease the baking dish)

150 g chestnut mushrooms

150 g cooked spinach (frozen one are fine too)

200 g sour cream (I used ½ fat)

A splash of cream

80 grams grated Swiss cheese (I used Sbrinz)

2-3 tbsp. breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Place the flour and salt in a bowl.

Beat the eggs together and mix them in the bowl with the flour.

Combine the water and the milk and gradually add them to the other ingredients while whisking. The batter should be dense but still a little runny.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and place a large holed colander (or even better on a spaetzle grater) on top. Take about ¼ of the batter, put it in the colander and press down so the better falls in the water. Once the spaetzle come to the surface it means the are ready. Place them in a bowl and set aside.

Finely chop the spinach and slice the mushrooms into 0.5 cm thick slices.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and add the mushrooms. Once they have browned on both sides remove them from the pan and set them aside. Using the same pan melt the second knob of butter and add the spaetzle to brown for about 7 minutes, tossing from time to time. Add the spinach and mushrooms, mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the fire and add the sour cream, cream and 50g of the grated cheese. After mixing all together transfer to a greased baking dish and sprinkle on top the rest of the cheese and the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 25-30 min at 190°C. Once the top has browned remove the dish from oven and wait a few minutes before serving.

Gruyere Sage Potato & Sweet Potato Gratin

Potato & Sweet Potato GratinI think if I had to choose a last meal I’d go for some kind of gratin. Continue reading

Going through an old potato recipe book (from our “national” Betty Bossi – a brand I find myself liking less and less lately) I found this recipe and decided to adapt it to my taste. To begin with, instead of adding in a few zucchini to the potatoes, I made a 50/50 mix of potatoes and sweet potatoes and added sage for the taste. Secondly, after a first attempt, I removed some of the moisture from the potatoes and the result was less liquid at the bottom of the baking dish. One thing I really enjoyed about this gratin was the use of grated potatoes; each mouthful is well balanced in taste… and personally I like it when I don’t have to look around my dish to pick up what I consider the perfect bite (I guess I’m a bit like Rose Morgan in The Mirror Has Two Faces).

 

 

Gruyere Sage Potato & Sweet Potato Gratin

 

Ingredients:

350 g peeled waxy potatoes

350 g peeled sweet potatoes

80 g grated Gruyere

1 tbsp. butter + more to grease baking dish

2 tbsp. finely sliced sage leaves

1 tsp. salt

2 dl milk

2 dl cream

Pepper and nutmeg

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

In a bowl grate the potatoes and sweet potatoes. Place them in a clean tea towel and squeeze out most of the excess moisture.

Ina a pan melt the butter and add the sage leaves to cook for 1-2 min, then combine with the grated potatoes and sweet potatoes and mix well. Mix in the grated cheese too. Place everything in a greased baking dish.

In another bowl combine the milk and cream with the salt, a little nutmeg and pepper. Mix all together and pout it over the other ingredients, which are already in the baking dish.

Cook for 40-45 min in the oven.

Potato Cauliflower Gratin


Cauliflower Potato Gratin Even if it comes to packing for a weekend, I always face the same dilemma: what will I wear? I always pack more than what I need and still end up wishing I had taken that white shirt, those brown pumps or that blue sweater…. Am I the only one in this position? Continue reading

Each time I look at the people traveling with me and, to me they feel more pragmatic in their packing choices. Would you believe that I make a packing list for the weekend? I really do, especially when I’m excited about the trip. Tomorrow with my boyfriend we’re going to Basel till Sunday. I’m really looking forward to it, we’ll attend the autumn fair (Herbstmesse) and I can’t wait to check it out. So let the dilemma begin. At least when I’m in the kitchen the situation is a little better because I actually like missing an ingredient or two: it’s a way to get creative. Fortunately for the potato and cauliflower gratin I had all the ingredients and the process was a smooth one.

Cauliflower Potato Gratin Cauliflower Potato Gratin

 

 

Potato Cauliflower Gratin

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 50-55 min

 

Ingredients:

340 g potatoes

300 g cauliflower

30 g butter

3 tbsp. flour

2 dl milk

2 dl vegetable stock

Nutmeg

60 g grated cheese

Pepper

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cut the potatoes into 3 cm chunks; place them in salted boiling water and cook until done.

Cut the cauliflower into florets (roughly the same size as the potatoes) and blanch them by boiling them for 3 minutes.

Once the potatoes and cauliflowers are ready place them in a greased baking dish.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour while constantly whisking. After about five minutes start adding the milk little by little. Once it has thickened, do the same with the stock. Add a little freshly grated nutmeg, stir a last time and remove from heat. Add 2/3 of the cheese and stir again to melt it in. Pour the white sauce on the potatoes and cauliflower making sure it coats all of the vegetables. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place in the oven for 20-25 min, until golden brown. Remove from oven and leave for a few minutes before serving.

Polenta Gratin with Bell Peppers

Polenta Gratin with Bell PeppersWhat I love when I travel with my mother, besides her company is that she always has at least two if not more cooking magazines. This time too she didn’t miss out on them. During our return after a humongous chicken mayo sandwich we both made ourselves comfortable in our train seat and began flipping through those pages filled with recipes. Every little while one of us would go:

“Uh, nice. Look at this.”

“I’ve gotta try this one.”

“This looks nice, we could make a spicy version of this one.”

Well, you got the idea. One of the recipes that received a comment was in the magazine Cuisine Actuelle (I think that’s the name) which contained today’s recipe. A few days later, it was on my dining table. The original recipe called for olives but I wanted to make it different so I used bell peppers instead and also, instead of mozzarella I used burrata. The rest of the recipe I kept it the same and the result was a really tasty.

 

Polenta Gratin with Bell Peppers

 

Polenta Gratin with Bell Peppers

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients

 

3 red bell peppers

2 tomatoes or 10 cherry tomatoes

1 garlic clove

3 tbsp olive oil

½ dl white wine

Paprika

1 garlic clove

200 g fine grain polenta

Stock about 9,5 dl (or check package instructions)

1 burrata

100 g grated Parmesan

1,5 dl crème fraiche

Butter to grease

Salt and pepper

 

 

Recipe

 

Heat oven at 210°C.

Grease with butter four individual gratin dishes (mine measure 15.5 cm diameter) or use one large one.

Cut the bell peppers into thin strips about 4 cm long. Dice the tomatoes or quarter the cherry tomatoes. Crush the garlic with a garlic crusher.

In a pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add the bell peppers to soften for 4-5 min on a medium fire. Now add the garlic and after a couple of minutes add the tomatoes, season with paprika, salt and pepper and cook for another 4-5 min. Pour in the white wine and let it cook off. Once done set aside.

Bring the stock to a boil with the rest of the olive oil. Sprinkle in the polenta and cook while stirring for a couple of minutes. Once the mass has become more solid and detaches itself from the edges add 2/3 of the Parmesan, the crème fraiche and pepper. Stir well.

Pour half of the polenta in the gratin dish(es), scatter half of the bell peppers and tomatoes, add the rest of the polenta then the rest of the vegetables with the rest of the Parmesan. Cut the burrata into slices and evenly distribute it on top of the rest. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, remove from heat and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving.

 

Potato and Mushroom Gratin with Rosemary

Potato and Mushroom gratin with Rosemary 1To me the staple comfort food is a potato gratin. Continue reading

It’s creamy and it’s delicious during the colder months, especially when in the past thirty days the sun has barely appeared for ten percent of the time. Because when I don’t see the sun for a while I need to keep my spirits up, lately I have been going out quite often to dinners and evenings.  So when I get to spend an evening at home, I like to spoil myself with something I like and potato gratin is just a great candidate.  Potato gratin is an dish which is easy to make and I love to decline it into the flavour which inspires me on the moment. A few months ago I bought the eBook “The Flavour Thesaurus” and since then, I don’t know how many hours I have spent navigating through the pages (see at the end of the post). I find this book is an incredible source of inspiration and it had almost become a game to me to find the possible combinations. Often I have a look at it before going to sleep and it is when my arms start hurting by holding up my iPad that I realize I have been reading for too long.

Potato and Mushroom gratin with Rosemary 4

 

Potato and Mushroom Gratin with Rosemary

 

Recipe for 1-2 as a main dish 3-4 as a side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 55 min

 

Ingredients:

120 g mushrooms ( I could not find anything else at the nearby supermarket, if you have something better go ahead)

1 onion

1 tbsp olive oil

40 g Gruyère

300-350 g potatoes (the firmer kind)

1 dl milk

1 dl cream

½ tbsp fresh rosemary leaves chopped

Salt and Pepper

Nutmeg (optional)

 

Heat the oven at 200°C.

Cut the mushrooms in half and make slices of about 0.5 cm pieces. Also cut the onion in half and slice it too, not as thick as the mushrooms though.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion. After a couple of minutes add the mushrooms and brown without turning them too often. If you wish you can add some pepper. Once done set aside.

Pass the potatoes through a slicer.

In a bowl mix the milk, cream and cheese.

In a greased baking dish add the potatoes, mushrooms and onions and toss them until evenly distributed. Now add the dairy mix, pour over and give another quick toss. Place in the oven for 45-50 minutes and serve hot.

This dish can be served with a simple salad or it can work as a side dish for meat.