Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Meals: Beet Green Gratin

My Favorite found this recipe, I think, last year. We ate it so many times in a row we didn't like it anymore. But I thought we might give it a try again. It's all about grace isn't it? Even for those poor beet greens. This is Alton Brown's recipe, a family favorite (the show/chef, not necessarily the dish).

(before mixed or in pan)
Beet Green Gratin

Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound beet greens, cleaned and picked
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 cups ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup crumbled crackers (recommended: Ritz crackers)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sweat. Add the beet greens and mix well. Remove pan from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and salt. Combine everything and put into a lightly oiled 9 by 11-inch baking dish. Top with the crumbled crackers and bake for 30 minutes covered. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
I couldn't remember what it meant to sweat the veggies, so here is what I found:

Sweating means to cook vegetables in a fat without them turning brown. With high heat, vegetables began to carmalize and turn brown. This mean that the heat is releasing the sugars within the vegetables. The heat has to be rather high to do this. Sweating is done on a very low heat and does not cause the sugars to be released.

Step #1 Add oil or butter to a sauce pan. Add the vegtables.

Step #2 COVER WITH A LID. Turn on a very low heat and let the vegetables cook without turning brown. If you notice them browning, then lower the heat even more. They will cook completely through and release their flavors into whatever you are cooking. Onions and celery will become soft and translucent when done. Carrots will become soft.
Results:
Really this is a very easy recipe. I got it all done while Teeny and My Favorite were at the store. It does take a while to bake, but as long as you don't have my lack-of-time-organization issues, it is great. Teeny ate the mushrooms out of hers, until she accidentally got some beet greens... what a lemon face! I liked it, so grace wins again. Doesn't reheat pretty, but I ate two servings just now and num!

Improvements:

The recipe doesn't mention the stems, in or out. I would definitely advise o-u-t, they are really bitter. And I needed way more crackers to cover the dish then suggested.

1 comment:

Mimi said...

Wonderful recipe!
Thanks for sharing, I'm gonna give it a go!