Gratin Recipes

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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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Ficelle Picarde Recipe (Crepe Gratin) Recipe

Ficelle picarde, which literally translates to "Picard string" in French, sounds like a fancy dish, but really, it's just a savory crêpe gratin filled with sautéed chopped mushrooms (called duxelles). It's a specialty from the region of Picardy, located in the North of France. The authentic dish is made with ham but I replaced it with soy chorizo to make it vegetarian. First, mushroom stuffed crêpes are rolled, then placed in a casserole dish, covered with Mornay mushroom cream sauce and sprinkled with Gruyère cheese. The last step is 5 to 10 minutes in the oven until bubbly and golden.

Crêpes are a fairly frequent dish at our home. The batter can be prepared in advance and you could also store pre-cooked crêpes in the freezer for faster assembly time. Whether they are served as a savory dish or as a dessert (or both!), we always find a new way to pair them with interesting combinations of flavors.


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How to Cook Swiss Chard: Vegetable Gratin Recipe Recipe

Swiss chard, called blette in French, is a very common winter vegetable.  One of the best way to fight the cold weather winter brings (I'm in Paris right now and it's freezing, literally) is to make a vegetable gratin, and swiss chard makes an excellent gratin.

The preparation is ultra simple. Swiss chard is chopped, sautéed with onions, covered with cheesy white sauce, then baked until golden. It's as easy as 1-2-3. Happy holidays, everyone! Keep warm!


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Gratin de Christophine (Chayote Squash Recipe) Recipe

Gratin de christophine originates from the French island of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Whether it's called chayote in English, christophine in Creole and French or trái su su in Vietnamese, the vegetable is from the same family as squash. I steam them with apples for added sweetness, then mix in creamed pearl onion sauce and finally bake until golden.

If you're looking to spice up your Christmas meal, you should try this Creole dish. It’s familiar and fresh all at the same time.


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