Sunday, May 3, 2009

Veggie Au Gratin With A Twist

Au gratin refers to the French style of broiling breadcrumbs and butter on top of a casserole dish of any type until they are brown and crispy. The most popular au gratin recipes use a white sauce in which the main ingredient is cooked prior to baking it in the oven and finishing it the au gratin way. When I visited my dear friend Sunitha, she made au gratin in a different way and it immediately caught my attention. Ever since, it has been a regular in my kitchen too. The highlight is, there is absolutely no necessity to stand by the stove once the cutting and assembling is done. So, here it is, veggie au gratin with a twist!

Ingredients:

Note:
The number of servings depends on the size of the casserole and there is no strict measurements used here. You can add more or less of what you like or don't like :-). Isn't it very flexible???

Veggies of your choice (potatoes are a must though)
(I like to use potatoes, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and carrots)
Store bought marinara sauce
Sour cream
Grated mozarella cheese (you can use any variety that you like or a blend of 2 or 3 different kinds)
Pickled jalapenos (for that little extra heat)
Minced garlic
Black pepper powder
Salt
Butter to grease the casserole

Procedure:

1. Slice all the veggies and set aside. You can even chop the pickled jalapenos so that you get a piece on two in each bite.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Grease a casserole with some butter. Place a layer of potatoes first, sprinkle some salt and pepper on top, add a thin layer of grated cheese and throw in some minced garlic and pickled jalapenos. Add another layer of any veggie (or a mix of veggies) of your choice, sprinkle some salt and pepper again and coat the top with some marinara sauce followed by sour cream (I tend to mix the sour cream and marinara sauce ahead of time so that it is easy to layer) and cheese. Now, you can repeat the layering again based on the depth of your casserole, but make sure you save a lot of cheese for the topmost layer. The cheese will melt and brown on the top giving it that crunch on the outside.
4. Throw the casserole into the preheated oven and bake for about 50 minutes to an hour with the last 3 -5 minutes on broil (oh yeah, this is for that nice crispy cheese layer on the top). Make sure you keep a check on it during the last 10 - 15 minutes.

I simply loved it the very first time I had it. Oh my, I can't wait to have it again!!! Try it and let me know if you liked it :-).

10 comments:

Sanghi said...

Mmm Anu this is a very new dish for me.. looks tempting, will surely try out..!:)

Anupama said...

@ Sanghi: Thanks Sanghi!!! Trust me, it is very yummy :-)

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

A new dish seems very interesting and yummy too, shall try this for sure, the idea of sourcream is tempting...

Anupama said...

@ Ramya: It is worth a shot I would say :-).

Shama Nagarajan said...

its a new yummy recipe

Anupama said...

@ Shama: Thank you :-)

Malar Gandhi said...

That sounds delicious...very unique and inviting. Will definetely give it a try.

Anupama said...

@ Malar Gandhi: Thanks a lot! I would strongly encourage you to try :-)

Prathibha said...

First time here...Looking lovely....

cookcurrynook said...

Lip-smacking! Im tempted to try it for din-din tomorrow night! Will let you know if I do :)