Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sep 14: Pork Chop Dinner

As Peter Brady would say, “Pock Schops and Apple Shawz”

Actually today’s dinner was more than pork chops and apple sauce. I made my version of au gratin potatoes which, to me, is sliced potatoes with onions and cheese. Some people like the dish saucy while I like the dish with less sauce.

The Dinner: Peas, Pork Chop, Apple Sauce and the Au Gratin Potatoes.

Now I’m not sure what the difference between au gratin potatoes and scalloped potatoes are… I think one has cheese (au gratin) and the other has more of a cream sauce. No matter what the difference… I get to use a gadget. :-) A Martha Stewart mandoline. Did she sell these for her legal defense fund? I don’t remember. Lol!

Au Gratin Potatoes
Preheat Oven 400F

The Fixins’
5 Red Potatoes, sliced thin
½ Onion, sliced thin
¼ to ½ t Thyme
¼ to ½ t Tarragon
½ cup broth
½ C Cream
½ C Croutons, onion and garlic flavored, crushed
½ T Butter, soft
1 C Cheddar, shredded (reserve ¼ C for the topping)

Use the mandoline to slice the red potatoes… The thickness was about 1/8”. However, for russet potatoes I would go thicker... maybe twice as thick.

Sliced onions

I sauteed the onions lightly in butter with the salt, pepper, thyme and tarragon. Objective is not to really brown, but to sweat the onions to they release some flavor.

Another problem I’ve had in the past with scalloped potatoes is that the potatoes take a long time to cook thoroughly. I decided to lightly cook the potatoes before layering in the baking dish. Also, for me, it’s easier to judge the amount of salt and pepper when the potatoes are spread out.
After the onions have sweated for about 5 minutes, I added the potatoes and about ½ cup of broth. Just enough to steam the potatoes. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, the potatoes are starting to cook. I add about ½ C cream for some richness. Carefully mix the potatoes, onions and cream.

Layer into a 8” x 8” Pyrex dish. Add cheese between layers. I did three layers, but could have gotten by with two.

Add the remaining juices over the top layer.

I’m not sure if au gratin potatoes have a bread crumb topping or that’s scalloped potatoes. I decided to add a crumb topping, but didn’t have bread crumbs. I did have onion and garlic croutons… ½ C croutons in a Ziploc.

Vent aggression! Crush, smash and pulverize the croutons.
Next, add ½ T (Tablespoon) of soft butter and ¼ C shredded cheese.
Mix thoroughly.

Top the potatoes before baking.

Bake 400F for about 40 minutes.
Right out of the oven.

This is how it looks.

The Taste
The flavor of the onions and herbs flavored the dish through out, but not overpowering. The topping crunchiness was a nice contrast to the softness of the potatoes. Cheesy but not saucy. The dish turned out very nicely.

If you want more sauce, double the liquids: Broth and cream/milk.


Anonymous said...

Yum! Looks absolutely delicious. Great job!

Eat4Fun said...

Yes, everything turned out. :-) Want some the next time you're here? I can freeze a batch... lol.

Lisa said...

OH.MY.GOD. Just mop the drool off my face. I have to turn away, I'm not kidding! Beautiful photos and presentation. Looking forward to seeing your next DB creation :)

Eat4Fun said...

Lisa Michelle...
Thank you for the kind words.
I, too, can't wait to see what the results to see your next DB challenge. I've been having fun with that DB stuff. :-)