My blog is designed for real home cooks
on a tight budget.
Visit the other tabs for money saving tips on leftovers and stretching ingredients and
feel free to share!
Au Gratin Potato Nest - Learn How to Season Any Dish the Right Way - What Makes My Recipe So DIFFERENT?
There’s nothing like pulling your dinner fork through different textures and flavors that compliment each other in a simple dish. The warmth of Nutmeg and Cheddar Cheese with a kiss of Smoked Paprika and Celery Seed screams Thanksgiving in my Au Gratin Potato Nest. It’s a beautiful individual presentation for two or you can serve the same recipe in a large casserole to accommodate four or more.
Total Cost $5.11 or $1.28 Per Serving
What Makes My Recipe So DIFFERENT?
Potatoes play well with a number of ingredients. When adding Cheddar Cheese and eggs, think about spices that add warmth and earthiness, like Nutmeg. I selected Smoked Paprika for the smoky component and White Pepper for sharpness, opposed to Black Pepper. Celery Seed brightens my earthy spices and adds a texture to the roux. Tempering in a beaten egg at the end of the sauce prep helped the sauce to adhere to the potatoes. The addition of the egg in the Cheese Sauce is complimented by all the spices especially the Nutmeg. I finished the Au Gratin with a little Dried Parsley for color.
How to Season Any Dish the Right Way
Prior to starting the course, I read a great deal of info that Professional Chefs wrote about mistakes that home cooks make. Seasoning was on the top of the list. Different spices and herbs should be added at different times during the cooking process so that they don’t disturb the way the ingredient cooks or bakes. Something as simple as salt can make an ingredient rubbery and dry or it may enhance the ingredients. When you season properly, there’s no need to add salt at the table.
1-You’ll need to know how the spices work with the ingredients and a lot of that information is right on the package of some ingredients.
2- Season at the beginning, the middle and the end of cooking, depending on the spices and ingredients.
3- Know how spices and herbs affect your ingredients. Grits should be salted at the beginning of cooking. You should never need to add salt to Grits or Pasta after they’re cooked.
4- Taste as you go and use a clean spoon every time you taste.
a) Never re-enter the vessel with a spoon that you’ve used to taste with.
b) A clean spoon will ensure that you’re not tasting flavors that have already coated the spoon and
passing mouth germs.
It’s all part of the seasoning process.
As always, look good, cook good and entertain in style.
Heidi L. Smith