December 2, 2013

Mushroom and summer squash gratin

mushroom and squash gratin


blue cheese

summer squash



Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and go blue cheese and mushrooms - genius! You wouldn't judge me if I did, correct? What if I told you that I dreamt this up in August? I did. That's where the summer squash comes from. Sautéed mushrooms are tossed with fresh raw garlic, layered between summer squash and filled with a blue cheese white sauce. The joy in serving these is in the red, heart shaped personal ramekins.

This recipe is best prepped in two steps. The first step is to prep the vegetables. The second step is to prep the white sauce.  Any great baking vegetables can be subbed in instead of squash. Serve these piping hot as a main course. Perfect for cooler weather.

Mini mushroom and summer squash gratins
Yield: 4-6

Ingredients for ramekins:
butter, enough to butter 4 individual ramekins
olive oil
16 oz (or about 500 g) of brown cremini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms
2 to 3 medium summer squash, cut into coins (can sub eggplant, tomato slices, or zucchini)
3 cloves garlic, chopped

Ingredients for the blue cheese cream sauce:
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 tbsp oregano, dried
salt and pepper to taste
2 oz blue cheese

  1. Lightly grease individual ramekin dishes. If you don't have mini casserole dishes than grease an 8" by 8" pan. Preheat the oven to 400 º F (200 º C).
  2. Meanwhile, brush any loose dirt off of the mushrooms, remove the stems, and slice the mushrooms into thin slices. Slice the summer squash into thin rounds or coins (1/8"), and chop up the garlic.
  3. Heat up the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, sauté the mushrooms. They should be done in about 12 minutes. Stir the garlic into the mushrooms, allow to heat up briefly, and remove from the pan once aromatic.
  4. Add the summer squash to the pan. There should be enough oil. Lightly sauté for 5 minutes and then remove. Allow both the summer squash and mushrooms to cool off by allowing them to sit on a plate. You can prepare the blue cheese sauce.
  5. Take a medium sauce saucepan and heat up 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Once hot sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of flour and take a whisk and start stirring the flour into the butter. Sprinkle in a bit more, such as the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, and stir together until the mixture turns golden. Turn the heat down to low and stir in 2 cups of milk while stirring together with the whisk. The sauce will need to be stirred constantly. If you leave it unattended the flour may start to cook and stick to the bottom of the pan, and you will have a lot of lumps in your sauce. The sauce will gradually begin to thicken, but should take no longer than 15-20 minutes.
  6. Once the sauce begins to thicken (about 10 minutes), you can add in oregano, and black pepper. Then add crumbled blue cheese and keep stirring to make sure the cheese melts into the sauce. Taste and adjust with salt if needed. About 1/4 of a teaspoon is all you need to give the dish it's added edge. Turn the heat off the sauce.
  7. Prep the ramekins: add about a tbsp or two to the bottom of the mini casserole dishes. Layer the mushrooms and summer squash together, and then top each layer with a bit of sauce. Once filled, top the ramekin with sauce and place in a baking sheet or tray to catch any bubble overs. If you are using a casserole dish you can assemble similarly and top with the sauce.
  8. Place them in the oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden on top.

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