Saturday, September 21, 2013

Zucchini Gratin

Hi guys!  I hope you have been having a fabulous September.  The wedding was amazing and I hope to be able to post some professional pictures when Lauren and Kevan get them back.  As for me, work has been pretty busy the past few weeks.  I have been buried in spreadsheets and marketing plans as we are in the process of budgeting and planning for 2014.  Jeez, this year flew by!

I actually have been cooking quite a bit and have seven new recipes to post!  The pictures are all finished but the writing of the recipes still needs to be done.  Please do stay tuned and check back because there are some really good ones...

And this one is a really good one as well.  I'm sure you all have had potato gratin before which is equally delicious but I am a sucker for zucchini. It tastes good in everything.  Especially when you layer it with cheese and bread crumbs and garlic and cream and spices!        

Drizzle some olive oil into a 9x13 baking dish and and set oven to 375 degrees.

Check out this gorgeous striped zucchini.  They are in season right now.  Try to slice them about 1/4 inch thick.

When I say parmesan cheese, I only use parmigiano reggiano cheese.  It is the king of all parmesan cheeses.  Buy a large block of it for $10-$20 and grate as needed. When you get down to the rind, save them to flavor your homemade tomato sauces.  

Lay the sliced zucchini in the baking dish.

Top with about 1/2 cup of cheese.

Then with 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs.  For these homemade bread crumbs, I used half of a loaf of rustic olive oil bread we had gotten from the farmers market. Simply cube it up, place in a food processor with the blade attachment and pulse until crumbs form.

This is the top layer. Mine went like this: zucchini, parm, crumbs, zucchini, parm, crumbs, zucchini.  You will still have some parm and crumbs for the top, but hold off on putting them on until the end.  You will now need to make the cream mixture to pour over the zucchini.

It starts with garlic.

Then some onion.

Then cream.

Then some eggs.  (Please note that I put two eggs in but after tasting the final product, I realized that one would be enough)
Whisk together.

If you can, use fresh nutmeg.  Buy a jar and it will last you forever.  Use a microplane to freshly grate into sauces for awesome flavor.

Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.  Mix.

Pour over the zucchini.

Top with bread crumbs.

And remaining cheese.  Drizzle with olive olive oil, salt and pepper.

Zucchini Gratin
2-3 small or 1-2 large zucchini, sliced thin
2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
2 c. fresh bread crumbs
3 cloves garlic, minced and smashed into a paste
1/4 small onion, diced
2 c. heavy cream
1 egg
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1/4 t. nutmeg
pinch of cayenne

preheat oven to 375 degrees

Drizzle a little olive oil into a 9x13 glass baking dish.  Slice zucchini into discs about 1/4 inch thick. Lay the slices down in the dish, slightly overlapping each other.  Top with 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and then with 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs.  Repeat one time and then top with zucchini.  Hold off on the remaining cheese/bread crumb topping until after you have poured the cream mixture into the dish.

In a large bowl, add garlic, onion, cream, egg, salt, pepper, ,nutmeg and cayenne.  Whisk together until combined.  Pour over zucchini.  Finally, sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs on top.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with a pinch of each salt and pepper.

Bake for 45-60 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

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