Potato and Vegetable Gratin
Method1.Preheat oven to 350°, butter a 9" x 9" brownie pan or equivalent deep 10" circular pan. If you got carried away with vegetables you might need a 9" x 13" lasagna pan.
2. Melt butter in a 3-4 quart saucepan, add onions (garlic) and bacon and cook until onion is soft.
3. Add all the vegetables, cream and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add pepper, nutmeg if wanted and salt if you like a lot of salt. Stir in.
5. Stir 3/4 of cheese into vegetable mix and pour into buttered dish.
6. Top with last ¼ of cheese.
7. Cover and bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, uncover and cook for 15 more minutes until cheese is browning slightly.
8. Remove from oven, let stand for about 10 minutes and serve.
NotesIf you cut the vegetables bigger or smaller then cooking time will vary from the 45 minutes stated. Try to cut all vegetables the same size. Note that carrots tend to take longer to cook to tenderness. Test vegetables with a fork at the 45 minute mark to see how tender they are. The starch in the vegetables should have combined with the liquid and thickened to a creamy sauce. If you leave the dish to stand for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven then the sauce soaks into the vegetables more. Otherwise it can be runny.
Note that Fontina cheese seems to be available in 2 varieties. One is hard and strong like parmesan. The other is more like a piece of mozzarella and is milder and creamier with a nice taste. So if the cheese is hard it's the parmesan look alike, if it bends and is flexible, it's Fontina.
You could also add some chopped celery and sliced leeks for flavor. How about some blue cheese in with the vegetables for a different flavor.
Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.