Monday, May 19, 2014

Almost healthy potato gratin

I love potatoes, they are probably my favourite food.  I like them boiled, mashed, fried any way I can get them.  Potatoes sliced and cooked with cheese in the oven is found in almost every European culture, in France it is called potatoes au gratin, in North America it is called scalloped potatoes.  What these two dishes have in common is cream or milk and lots of calories, so I decided to lighten up the dish and made a version with much less cheese and chicken stock instead of cream.

I used asiago cheese as that was what I had in my fridge.  Asiago is an Italian cheese, and is strong flavoured similar to paramazan.  Any cheese would do, but the stronger the cheese the less you need to use.

This made a dish that served 6

6 medium potatoes thinly sliced, I used my new mandoline and managed not to slice my finger!
1 yellow onion thinly sliced
1 cup of grated cheese
1/4 cup of grated parmazan
1 cup of chicken stock.

Put a layer of potato slices in the bottom of a baking dish, I used a deep sided pie plate.  They should be just overlapping and cover the bottom completely. Then layer 1/4 of the onion on top.

Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top then a 1/4 of the cheese.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mustard chicken

This recipe was inspired by flipping through a book in Chapters. I work with in a minutes walk from a Starbucks contained in a Chapters book store. I am a frequent visitor to the Starbucks for coffee and sometimes I walk through the rest of the store and check out the merchandise.  Last week I picked up an interesting looking cook book, I am afraid I have no recollection of which book, but it was french food.  I saw a picture of this dish and thought it looked good and so read the ingredients and directions.

As I made this a few days later and had only read the ingredients and directions once this is my interpretation of what I remembered.

Feeds 6

12 chicken pieces I used 6 whole legs cut in half
1/4 cup of grainy Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of chicken stock
1 onion chopped
1 large garlic clove sliced
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf

Put the chicken in a bowl and add the mustard salt and pepper.

Mix together and let it sit for about an hour at room temperature.  Then add the oil to a heavy frying pan and brown the chicken.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Celery and parmesan salad

This is one of my husbands favourite dishes and since it is so incredibly easy to make that is a very good thing.  A couple of weeks ago, after what seems like a very long winter we had a Sunday evening that was warm and sunny,  warm enough to have Sunday dinner on the deck! this is pretty good for what was mid April, so I barbecued a pork tenderloin, roasted some vegetables, made a quick cheesy potato gratin, and made my husbands favourite salad.

This is a great salad because it easy and quick to make for 20 or 2 or even one, and I often make this mid week when something fresh and crisp is needed to counter a rich main course. Don't be put off by the simplicity of this recipe, it comes from Italy the masters of simple good food. This made enough for 4 for dinner

8 ribs of celery thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
1 cup of grated fresh parmesan cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Lay the sliced celery on a platter that allows the celery to be almost in one layer.

Sprinkle over the cheese