Vegetable Gratin, topped with savory breadcrumbs, dripping with delicious Bechamel sauce and Parmesan cheese is my contribution to Bee of Jugalbandi's "CLICK-The photo event-Cheese/Tofu" event this month. Thanks Jugs!
Well..I am supposed to say something about the photo I am posting here for the event. All I can say is, Bee threatened me that she would break all North Carolina Panthers' legs so they can never play football (or win the Super Bowl) ever again if I didn't send her a photo for her event. So, a selfless self- sacrificing woman that I am, sending this photo to her event so I can save NC Panthers' many many many pairs of those strong handsome manly legs!!!
Sigh...the things I have to do for my people of NC!! Bee, you win!!! Please spare them their legs......!!!! Waaaah...!!!!
Baked mixed vegetable Gratin, topped with Bechamel sauce, savory bread crumbs and sprinkled grated Parmesan cheese.
Gratin with mixed vegetables and Bechamel sauce is my second dish for DK of "Culinary Bazaar"'s event "A.W.E.D.- France" this month. My first entry to her is savory "Pain Perdu", a French toast. Thank you DK, have fun in France!
Mixed vegetable Gratin:
"Gratin is a widely-used culinary technique of food preparation in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using bread crumbs and butter. Gratins are also frequently sprinkled with grated cheese. Gratin originated in French cuisine and is prepared using a casserole. A gratin is baked or broiled to form a golden crust on top and served in it's oval shaped baking dish.The etymology of gratin is from the French language in which the word "gratter" meaning to "to scrape" as of the "scrapings" of bread or cheese, and gratiné, from the transitive verb form of the word for crust. Gratin dish refers to the shallow oven-proof container used to prepare gratins." Info from WIKIPEDIA.
While making the savory Pudding (see below) for Sunday lunch, I saved half a bag of frozen veggies just to make this Gratin to show you here. Kids loved this dish more than the savory veg and bread pudding! :)
To make Gratin, you need:
1. I used 1/2 a bag frozen mixed veggies; Cauliflower, Broccoli, Water Chestnuts, Endamame, carrots etc. Put all these into a dish with a tsp of butter and pinch of salt and pepper, microwave for 10 mins until cooked or saute in butter until golden.
2. Add these veggies to a bakeable Gratin dish and keep aside.
3. Take about half a cup of garlic Croutons and coarsely powder it, keep aside.
4. Now, pour the prepared Bechamel sauce (recipe below) over the veggies, sprinkle bread crumbs to cover the sauce.
5. Bake at 350F for 15 to 20 mins, since veggies are already cooked, it doesn't take much time to bake or if you use a microwavable Gratin dish, you can microwave this in a jiffy too!
6. Lastly, as soon as you take out the dish out of the oven, sprinkle grated fresh Parmesan cheese on top. If you add cheese and bake in the oven, cheese might burn sometimes and tastes bitter, so I add it at the end. You can bake 5 mins more after you add the Parmesan cheese if you like.
To make Béchamel sauce:
Bechamel is basic white sauce and it becomes "Mornay" sauce if you add cheese to the sauce.
2. Keep whisking to avoid the lumps. After few mins, Bechamel sauce thickens slightly. Then, grate 1/8 tsp of fresh Nutmeg pd over it, mix and take the pan off the heat. Pour it on the veggies when it cools a bit and bake the gratin.
Delicious Gratin is ready, it smells so good! :)
"Cauliflower" is the choice for JFI, which is being hosted by Mythreyee of "Paajaka" blog, an event which is started by Indira of "Mahanandi" blog. My mixed vegetable including Cauliflower, savory Pudding goes to Mythreyee for her event.
Jayasree of "experiments in Kailas kitchen" blog is guest hosting "MEC-Microwaved Puddings" this month. MEC event is originally Srivalli of "cooking for all seasons" idea. I cooked this savory vegetable pudding in the microwave, so this is for you too, Jaya.
Thanks to all of you girls, enjoy! :))
Microwaved mixed vegetable including Cauliflower savory Pudding:
Puddings usually have egg and milk mixture poured into and baked with vegetables and bread pieces. Since both of event entries need to be strictly vegetarian, I have replaced eggs with cornstarch and baked in the microwave.
If eggs are okay with you, add 2-3 eggs to milk along with herbs to get fluffy, spongy pudding. I had baked a sweet Persimmon pudding few weeks ago, so I went for savory pudding this time, can't handle too much sweet again. Hope you like it! :))
Microwaved savory mixed vegetable and bread pudding:
"Pudding most often refers to a dessert, but can also be a savory dish. The word pudding probably comes from the French boudin, originally from the Latin botellus, meaning "small sausage," referring to encased meats used in Medieval European puddings. In the United Kingdom and in some countries, pudding is a common term for any dessert". Info from WIKIPEDIA.To make the savory pudding: Click on the collage to see the ingredients.
I used 2 1/2 small bags frozen mixed vegetables including Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots, Celery, Endamame, Water chestnuts, peas etc.
10 oz pack of all natural chunky and savory garlic and herb Croutons. You can use bread slices too but ready herbed garlic croutons are better.
For the sauce: take 2-3 cups of milk, (enough to drown the bread and veggies!), 2 tsp Cornstarch, 1 tsp dry herbs, 1/2 tsp Garlic pd, 1/2 tsp onion powder, salt, red chilli flakes and pepper to taste. Mix all these well.
(If adding eggs which is used in making traditional pudding, add 2 eggs and beat this mixture)
To bake or microwave:
1. If you are baking this pudding in the oven, you can saute all the veggies in 1 tbsp butter until halfway cooked and golden.
Since I microwaved it, I added 1 tbsp butter to a dish with frozen vegetables, few pinches of salt, covered and microwaved it for 10-15mins on high or until veggies are fork tender.
2. Drain any water remaining, let the veggies cool a bit. Mix the sauce again and keep it ready.
3. In a microwaveable dish, add half of the Croutons on the bottom, spread all the veggies on top and cover with Croutons again.
4. Slowly pour the liquid sauce on the bread and veggies. Then press the top gently until Croutons are wet and soaked.
If you are baking this, bake at 350F for 30 mins or so, until crust is golden.
5. Now, put this dish in the Microwave, heat this on 100% power for 10 to 20 mins ot until you don't see liquid anymore on the bottom. Cornstarch and soaked bread makes the sauce thick and pudding is scoopbale once it's done.
Do not add too much milk which can overflow in the MW, pause the MW if you see the liquid come up and start again. Serve the pudding while it's warm with a salad.
Enjoy all the yummy vegetable dishes, see you all on Friday here again! :)