Friday, February 03, 2006

Recipe 2: Gratin of Macaroni

Well...followed the other recipe (the gratin of macaroni) to a tee last night and it was interesting...my main criticism is it ended up being VERY oily. If I were doing it again I would skip the olive oil or just use a teeny tiny amount. It also needs longer than 20 minutes to brown. I'm not sure how long I ended up cooking mine for but it was probably closer to half an hour. I did like the flavor of the Gruyere. And it definitely wasn't super-cheesy which I liked. I used creme fraiche and while it looked wonderfully rich and creamy going into the oven it either evaporated or converted to oil by the time it came out! I don't know if this is really main-dish material. With some tweaking, it would be great as a side for roast chicken or something like that.

4 SERVINGS

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

200 grams large macaroni

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic

200 ml crème fraîche or double cream

60 grams fresh Gruyère cheese

10 grams butter

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5/375. In a large casserole, bring two litres of water to the boil with 20 grams of salt. Add the pasta and cook for eight minutes. Drain by lifting it out of the water and immediately coat it in olive oil. Meanwhile, take an ovenproof dish broad enough to fit in two layers of the pasta; if it is too small, the pasta will be too deep and only a small portion of it will be gratinated. Rub the inside of the dish with the clove of garlic, cut in half. This will coat the dish with a wonderful sweet aroma.

2. In a bowl, mix the pasta with the cream and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and pour into the ovenproof dish. Dot the surface with the butter and put into the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes. You should have a wonderful golden gratin. For a little more colour on the top, pop the gratin under the grill.

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