I had a crummy day today and, honestly, didn’t feel like cooking, or doing much of anything, when I got home from work. But, hearing the rumbles in my tummy, I sucked it up and thought cooking might actually help. It did! It distracted me and was kind of therapeutic, what with all the slicing and stirring. Plus, I got to eat something yummy at the end 🙂
I decided to make the Artichoke Gratin (pg. 178) because, let’s face it, what’s better than a decadent cheesy dish when one is feeling blue? The overall recipe was pretty easy, but, because of the 45-50 minute bake time, it did take me about 2 hours in total.
Chef said that it was my choice as far as fresh or frozen artichoke hearts, so I chose frozen. I saved a lot of time and money this way. Plus, I don’t feel like it was a cop-out at all, since Chef said that he is “all for frozen vegetables” and that frozen artichokes could be used here “without sacrificing much flavor.” He even commented upon saving time and money! So I feel justified in my choice.
I began by juicing all of the lemons. Then proceeded to prep and boil the artichokes and sautee the onions. The onions got nice and soft, and became a perfect brown color–I’m getting rather good at cooking onions as a result of this project! Then I put everything together with the spices and set aside to work on the bachamel sauce. The only reason I knew what a bachamel sauce was (a simple butter, flour, and milk sauce) was that I have had TONS of experience making it through various lasagnas and homemade macaroni-and-cheeses. So that was not a hurdle.
Then, once everything was mixed, it went into the pan, the ricotta was added, and then into the oven!
After 30 minutes, out it came to add more cheese! Mmmmmm. Then in for another 20 until the Parmesan turned a golden brown and the gratin was all bubbly.
It smelled delicious coming out of the oven–very lemony. Then the taste test: delish! I give this 4 stars. While it was wonderful, I would have (or should have, probably) added more salt, pepper, and thyme. But the artichoke and lemon flavor really shined through and the creamy bachamel and ricotta made it hearty and heart warming.
P.S. No pic in the cookbook of this one…