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Potato Cauliflower Gratin with Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Chicken Breasts

December 20, 2006

Some Chicken and Some Cheese

I have been plotting a gratin for weeks now, and finally found the time to put it together. Not that it was particularly time consuming, but it’s been a busy month. Actually, it was much easier than I would have thought and deliciously heart-attack inducing. I basically cobbled together a Cauliflower Gratin recipe from Ina Garten, and a few different Potato Gratin recipes from Epicurious, to put together this Gruyere-filled melty treat. It’s almost entirely Ina Garten’s recipe, but with added fat. Because I’m crazy like that.

Potato Cauliflower Gratin

  • About 3 medium potatoes (I used Idaho potatoes)
  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 3/4 c. of grated Gruyere
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2-3 T. flour
  • 2 c. Half and Half (yes, Half and Half)
  • 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

Man, I really need to get better at writing out ingedients in the order they were used, and not the order in which I remember them.

Preheat the oven to 400F (this really depends on your oven–somewhere between 375 and 400 should be right).

You want to cut the cauliflower into relatively large florets, because they will kind of fall apart into the gratin. Cauliflower is very crumbly, and is hard to cut into smaller florets, anyway. Cut your potatoes into thin slices, probably about 1/8 of an inch thick. You can slice them lengthwise or widthwise, whichever works for you and your gratin pan.

Boil the cauliflower for a few minutes in some salted boiling water–not so long that it’s going to be overcooked. Ina suggested 5-7 minutes, which I thought was just too long, so I went for about 3 minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat the half and half until it’s almost boiling, but not quite. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt about 2 T. of butter over medium-low heat, and add the flour, whisking until it forms a thin paste. Add the hot half and half/milk/cream (you can probably use whichever), and continue whisking it over medium-high heat until it boils. Then keep whisking and boiling. You probably want to let it boil for about a minute or two, until it starts getting thick. Then remove from the heat, and mix in 1/2 a cup of Gruyere and 1/2 a cup of parmesan, the salt, the pepper, and the nutmeg. Whisk this all together until the cheese melts and is evenly blended into the sauce.

Pour about 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of a gratin pan (probably about 8 inches x 11 inches?). Put a thick layer of potatoes on top of the sauce, then another layer of cheese sauce, then another layer of potatoes and the cauliflower. Pour the rest of the sauce over all this good stuff. You might need to use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly, because it’s a very thick sauce.

Top the whole thing with some breadcrumbs and the rest of the grated gruyere, and stick it in the oven. This should bake for about 30 minutes or so, and if you want, you can put it under the broiler for another 2 minutes when it’s done, so the cheese gets all nice and browned.

(Updated! As I’ve been eating the leftovers, I’ve realized that not all the potatoes were cooked all the way. Shucks! To prevent raw potato action, you can either slice them thinner, or cook the whole thing longer.)

You’ll definitely need to let it sit for about five minutes after you take it out of the oven. It will be spitting and hissing at you. That’s how you know it’s good.

The lovely gratin

I made a quick chicken thing to go along with the gratin, which was really the star of the dinner plate, in my opinion. The chicken was really tasty, though. Here’s what I did to it:

Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Chicken Breast

  • Two small chicken breasts
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. dried tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
  • about 1/4 c. basil oil
  • 2-3 slices Provolone
  • 2-3 large pieces of roasted red peppers from a jar (who needs to roast their own, seriously?)

The marinade is really simple–just add the tarragon, salt, and pepper to the balsamic, and whisk in the basil oil. Flatten out the chicken breasts with a meat mallet, until they are about 1/2 an inch thick. Marinate the chicken while you’re assembling the gratin (about 20 minutes should be ok).

When you’re ready, lay the chicken breast out on a cutting board, and place a bit of provolone and some roasted red peppers on them, and roll them up. You can use kitchen twine or toothpicks to hold them together, but I just put them in the pan with the seam down, and they were fine. Bake them at about 400F for 20 or so minutes.

That is all. Serve it to people and they will be happy. Crystal said it was like love.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. dimitri permalink
    February 9, 2008 6:06 am

    hi, and thanks for this recipe.

    will be making a cauli+potatoes gratin later today, and havent really ever cooked pot / oven dish foods in the oven, only roasting / baking.

    Given that some of the potatoes werent cooked, I wonder if the cauli needed to be boiled at all beforehands, or you could put both potatoes and cauli raw, in that gratin pan and in the oven, and, as the potaotes would need longer anyway, it should be enough time for the raw cauli to also cook itself fully.


  2. April 6, 2010 6:20 pm

    I am trying this recipe tonight–so far it smells heavenly. Will let you know how it turns out!!

  3. April 8, 2010 7:37 pm

    I hope it turns out well! I’m not sure if you’re making the chicken or the gratin, but I would love to hear how either turn out!


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