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December 12, 2009

The Comment of the Week

I was grateful to Baltofoodie for reminding us not to make assumptions. I did, and I knew better. Plus the comment includes a good recipe. This was under Hanukkah dinners at local restaurants: ...

Um, gratin does not equal cheese. Gratin means something cooked in a gratin dish (shallow, oval) and with a crust, which is traditionally made from breadcrumbs (gratinee means the equivalent of crusted in French). I have a recipe for potatoes au gratin, in which the potatoes are layered with sage leaves and brushed with olive oil, then topped with bread crumbs and baked. Regi's potatoes au gratin could, of course, have cheese in it, but potatoes au gratin does not necessary imply cheese, only that the potatoes are baked with some kind of crust.

Posted by: Baltofoodie | December 12, 2009 2:59 PM

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 5:39 PM | | Comments (5)


My new favorite cookbook, Michel Richard's "Happy in the Kitchen," has a recipe for an all crust potato gratin. It does include cheese. Basically you julienne the potatoes, stir them into cream and butter, spread on parchment paper, spinkle with cheese and bake. Since the crust is the best part this seems like a winner to me.

Jon Parker, what's the point of the parchment paper in this recipe? Don't you use some sort of gratin dish?

Captcha: cuckoo Issues. I beg your pardon!

It's in a very thin layer. After baking, you pull it out, then cut it into rectangles with kitchen shears, cutting through both the paper and the potatoes.

Then you peel off the paper, discard it, and return the potatoes to the broiler for a few minutes. What you're left with is perfect rectangles of very thin potato and cheese crust.

Richard loves to play with presentation. Another recipe that I would love to try except for the cost of the silicone molds used in it resembles an egg over easy. Only in this case the yolk is yellow tomato and cream pureed and held together with gelatin, and the white is fresh mozzarella and milk also held together with gelatin.

It's a fun cookbook, and most of the recipes don't require such specialized equipment or technique.

How do you keep the cream from running all over the place? Or is it in micro-quantites?

I have not tried this recipe yet, but according to Richard the cream thickens because of the starch in the potatoes.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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