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Au Gratin - Recipes








Au Gratin



He who says au gratin says Parmesan. The second most popular cheese for au gratin is Italian Romano, and, for an entirely different flavor, Swiss Sapsago. The French, who gave us this cookery term, use it in its original meaning for any dish with a browned topping, usually of bread crumbs, or crumbs and cheese. In America we think of au gratin as grated cheese only, although Webster says, "with a browned covering, often mixed with butter or cheese; as, potatoes au gratin." So let us begin with that.




picture: pointer Potatoes au Gratin

2 cups diced cooked potatoes
2 tablespoons grated onion
½ cup grated American Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup milk
1 egg
More grated cheese for covering

In a buttered baking dish put a layer of diced potatoes, sprinkle with onion and bits of butter. Next, scatter on a thin layer of cheese and alternate with potatoes, onions and butter. Stir milk, egg, salt and pepper together and pour it on the mixture. Top everything with plenty of grated cheese to make it authentically American au gratin. Bake until firm in moderate oven, about ½ hour.

picture: pointer Eggs au Gratin

Make a white sauce flavored with minced onion to pour over any desired number of eggs broken into a buttered baking dish. Begin by using half of the sauce and sprinkling on a lot of grated cheese. After the eggs are in, pour on the rest of the sauce, cover it with grated cheese and bread crumbs, drop in bits of butter, and cook until brown in oven (or about 12 minutes).

picture: pointer Tomatoes au Gratin

Cover bottom of shallow baking pan with slices of tomato and sprinkle liberally with bread crumbs and grated cheese, season with salt, pepper and dots of butter, add another layer of tomato slices, season as before and continue this, alternating with cheese, until pan is full. Add a generous topping of crumbs, cheese and butter. Bake 50 minutes in moderate oven.

picture: pointer Onion Soup au Gratin

4 or 5 onions, sliced
4 or 5 tablespoons butter
1 quart stock or canned consommé
1 quart bouillon made from dissolving 4 or 5 cubes
Rounds of toasted French bread
1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté onions in butter in a roomy saucepan until light golden, and pour the stock over. When heated put in a larger casserole, add the bouillon, season to taste and heat to boiling point. Let simmer 15 minutes and serve in deep well-heated soup plates, the bottoms covered with rounds of toasted French bread which have been heaped with freshly grated Parmesan and browned under the broiler. More cheese is served for guests to sprinkle on as desired.

At gala parties, where wine flows, a couple of glasses of champagne are often added to the bouillon.

In the famed onion soup au gratin at Les Halles in Paris, grated Gruyère is used in place of Parmesan. They are interchangeable in this recipe.

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