Lunch special – Broccoli Polonaise

Needed a hearty helping of vegetables after yesterdays cholestorol-fix breakfast.  In keeping with the gratin theme, I was motivated by Prof. Steve Holzinger’s article”All About Gratins”

The Broccoli Gratinee sounded fairly straightforward:  butter, breadcrumbs, parmesan seasonings over crisp steamed broccoli baked in a hot oven.   The parmesan was to be added at the end of the butter-breadcrumb mixing and the mixture may have been too hot and set in the pan before being transferred to the gratin dish.  After a quick ten minutes in the oven it was set to cool.  Despite the dryness – it was super yummy – I couldn’t have ordered up a better lunch.  This recipe will require some further contemplation – reminding me of the old adage “Think before you Cook!”

Chard Gratin for lunch hold the halibut

The gratin is best after it’s sat for a bit.  I’ve only made a couple of them and only two of them could I say that I nailed it – either with just the right amount of nutmeg or set up just right and not too gritty or watery.  I had hoped to have the gratin today with some fresh halibut since the ocean was relatively flat and a boat ride was in order.  Once out there, though, my stomach indicated otherwise and I spent a couple of uncomfortable hours on the boat trying not to move too much for fear of upsetting the delicate balance of a semi-stable stomach on rolling seas.  Plenty of sand-dabs for Kyle (I was too busy ‘balancing’ to work a sand dab rig) and he had never eaten them before.  They are probably one of my favorite eating fish – but lots of work for tiny filets – and I definitely wasn’t going to be up to it this afternoon.

I returned home to a Sunday newspaper, baseball game on the radio and chard gratin.  Exactly what I needed.  It may not look pretty to the eye, but neither did I after a long morning afloat.  After the first bite, I thought to myself “you nailed it”  yummmmm.  Not a cure for seasickness – only a night’s sleep will take it completely out of me – but a darned good way to start an afternoon nap.

A slice of chard gratin before an afternoon nap is a surefire way to take the seasickness edge off.
A slice of chard gratin before an afternoon nap is a surefire way to take the seasickness edge off (glass of juice and sparkling water not pictured).

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen

The pursuit for chard gratin continues…

The chard is blanched for a minute and then the excess water is squeezed out.

The bread crumbs are ready…needing only to be crushed

The chard is chopped and sauteed with a wee bit of garlic and finished with nutmeg, salt, pepper, a healthy sprinkling of flour and milk is slowly worked into the mix.  I may have made this a bit too watery.

The chard is transferred to a pan…

And topped with the breadcrumbs.  I may have overtoasted my bread … we’ll see…

Into the oven for a slow cook so it doesn’t bubble up.

Stay tuned…