Gratin Recipes

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Mac and Cheese Shepherd's Pie Recipe Recipe

We've been experiencing rainy days in the Bay Area and I thought a little comfort food would warm us up. I couldn't decide between a shepherd's pie or mac and cheese, so I went for a combination of the two.

To keep the dish vegetarian, I prepared the bottom layer with a mixture of vegetarian protein crumble, tomatoes and onions; you could opt for regular ground beef if you prefer. Instead of topping the dish with mashed potatoes as you would in a standard shepherd's pie recipe, I added creamy mac and cheese. Needless to say, the richness of the dish was a huge hit even baby Aria asked for more!


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Cabbage Gratin Recipe Recipe

Cabbage Gratin Recipe

03.06.13 by Jackie

The weather has been so cold and windy in the Bay Area that this gratin dish received a warm welcome from the family at dinnertime. Little cottage cheese filled cabbage dumplings are cooked in a hearty mache sauce, then finished with a bit of cheese. Cabbage gratin, or "gratin de chou" in French, has comfort food written all over it.  

I tried to make this gratin as healthy as possible. This casserole dish is packed with greens and is high in protein, since 14 ounces of cottage cheese has at least 50 grams of protein (compared to a 6-ounce steak with 42 grams). Not that you should consider eating the whole thing by yourself! 


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Cepe Mushroom Gratin Recipe Recipe

Cepe Mushroom Gratin Recipe

10.09.12 by Jackie

While strolling in an open-air market in Paris with my father, he noticed fresh cèpe mushrooms. If you've never seen them, they're quite large and brown, very similar to porcini mushrooms. In my opinion, these are very tasty mushrooms and Jean-Damien, my brother-in-law, had mentioned people go "hunting" for these wild mushrooms in the Parisian forests ("les forêts d'Ile-de-France"). Papa bought 2 small cases and I made a very simple mushroom gratin to showcase the unique flavor of these wonderful mushrooms.

I sautéed the cèpes in garlic and sweet basil. Then I transferred them to a gratin dish and covered them with alternating layers of Gruyère cheese and béchamel sauce. The result was a divine, creamy dish that suits the rainy weather we've experienced here in France.


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Tomato Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Recipe

My husband Lulu's little nieces from Oakland are staying with us for a week. I'm going to make their favorite dishes and we prepared a lot of fun activities so they have a memorable stay with us. This morning, we took several large baskets and they helped me pick fruits and vegetables for lunch. We gathered so many tomatoes, I decided to make tomato sauce to store for the winter. But as I was preparing mac and cheese for the children in the evening, I changed my mind and added the tomato sauce to a modified version of the kid-friendly dish. 

I spread a layer of tomato sauce at the bottom of the dish and also flavored the béchamel sauce with fire-roasted tomatoes. They impart a light sweetness and pleasant tanginess that complements the flavors of the cheese and sauce very well. So not only did I coerce the kids into going outside to do a physical activity, I also snuck some veggies into a dish they can’t resist. Pham Fatale indeed!


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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe Recipe

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe

11.22.11 by Jackie

As I spent my childhood in France, Thanksgiving wasn't part of our traditional feasts. I’ve come to believe that Thanksgiving is synonymous with an abundance of comfort food. My personal all-time favorite comfort food is mac and cheese, so I tried adapting the dish with the flavors of the holiday season. I added diced pumpkin to the traditional layers of macaroni, white sauce and string-y, melted cheese. The pumpkin infuses a mild sweetness into the dish and really adds another dimension. It also doesn’t hurt that the colors are so reminiscent of Thanksgiving.

Mac and cheese is a great dish that is suitable all year round. You can flavor the dish with your favorite ingredients such as morel mushrooms, red pesto or any combination of cheeses. If pumpkin isn’t your thing, make your own pasta gratin creation; let your imagination run wild!


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