Monday, October 4, 2010
#5 in Eating Cheap and Alone
What's the true best way to eat cheap and alone? Have a friend who has a vegetable garden snip you some kale, chard, and spinach. And maybe some other things for later, like huge green peppers and heirloom tomatoes. Oh, and have said Friend live on a street where there are planters of sage and rosemary.
Tonight, I was able to combine my Maxwell Farms potatoes (russets-- the cheapest they sell, at $1/lb) with the freshest greens possible to lay hands on. This potato-greens gratin adapted from Deborah Madison's The Savory Way was so delicious, I tried to lick the pan. No joke. I couldn't quite reach, though. I bring you a recipe for gratin for one or two people. I ate mine alongside leftover striped bass that I bought from Blue Moon fisheries on Saturday at Grand Army Plaza. $5 worth got me through dinner on Saturday with leftovers of the poached fish enough for tonight and tomorrow's lunch. Now that is some good value! Truly, this gratin, though, was the highlight tonight. The fish was just my self-imposed protein.
This gratin is to me what I love about chowders and creamy soups, but in a relatively more solid form. It was creamy, potatoey, tasty, and the greens were just superb. I urge you to try this yourself. Makes a great side dish. And I'm sure the leftovers will go great with eggs tomorrow morning!
2 medium russet potatoes, sliced into 1/8" or 1/4" rounds
2 big handfuls of hearty greens (kale, chard, or even spinach will do)
1 c cream or half+half
salt and pepper
Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Add salt and potatoes. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove potatoes with slotted spoon. Add greens, and simmer for a minute. Remove. Lightly butter a small baking dish (I used a 5" ovenproof skillet with 1 1/2"-high sides). Layer half of the potatoes in the bottom. Then spread out a layer of your greens. Layer remaining potatoes on top. Add salt and a liberal sprinkle of pepper. Bake at 325 for about an hour, or until dairy is mostly absorbed.
Note: I had to place a sheet of foil on the bottom of the oven so that the gratin would not boil over and burn on the oven. It doesn't hurt to take this extra step.