Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Summer Vegetable Gratin

Gratin is one of the most underrated vegetable side dishes. You can make gratin using onions, parmesan cheese and a whole variety of other ingredients. I have made potato gratin in the past, but hadn't tried using other vegetables. Thomas Keller has a great recipe for a summer vegetable gratin in his cookbook, Ad Hoc At Home.  I decided to change up the recipe a bit to suit my tastes, but went with the inspiration. I served the dish as a side dish with a lightly breaded veal. The combination was stellar and there were no leftovers.

Sasha's Summer Vegetable Gratin (inspired by Thomas Keller's recipe from Ad Hoc at Home)
2 cups onions, diced
fresh thyme
2 plum tomatoes
2 Japanese eggplans (small eggplants)
2 yellow zucchini
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup plaint breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, diced

Combine the diced onions and garlic, and saute for several minutes until the onion is translucent.  Add the thyme.  Fill a gratin dish or lasagna pan (I used my Emile Henry lasagna pan) with the onions, spread evenly. Slice the Japanese eggplants, plum tomatoes and yellow zucchini (I used farm fresh vegetables from Fresh Direct).  Arrange the vegetables neatly in rows on top of the onions. Top with a mixture of the bread crumbs and cheese (I found that using less than Keller recommends is optimal here). Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half, until nicely browned.

To make the veal - coat the veal in a battered egg and dip in flour. Season with paprika, salt and pepper. You can then cook the veal in your skillet.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Eric's Kitchen in NJ: Honeydew Prosciutto & Arugula Salad

This was definitely a collaborative effort by my Mom and I. She's recently been adding melon to her salads after having one in some Portuguese restaurant somewhere where they had cantaloupe and arugula and I said that I thought it would be even better with some prosciutto. So Jenn and I showed up to her house Saturday night and she had bought all the ingredients and had me assemble it. I think it came out very well and decided it was 'blog-worthy'.

Ingredients: (served 5 but disappeared quickly)
1 package of arugula
1 half a honeydew, sliced thinly
1 package of prosciutto (2 oz?)
2 tbsp. minced sweet onion (I would omit this or use some red onion sparingly and sliced thinly)
pinch of black pepper
1 tbsp. of shredded Romano cheese (or shaved Parmesan)

Dressing: (This is an approximation but the proportions are close)
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. raspberry balsamic vinegar
3-4 oz. olive oil

Toss and serve! I would also suggest dressing it lightly and right before serving as the honeydew has a lot of juice and is very sweet to begin with and over dressing could definitely make it soggy. Cantaloupe might be more colorful but I thought the honeydew was delicious.
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