Saffron Gratin Recipe:
Saffron infused vegetable Gratin with potatoes, carrots, beans, and baby corn.
This morning as I sat down to my cup of tea and turned on the TV a news flashed loud into my head ,“Mala’s condition has returned back to critical, say her doctors.” The next news script tells me that today the UN observes its 2nd the International Day of the Girl Child, could it get more ironical. It saddens me; it infuriates me and not just that but also leaves me helpless for there’s nothing I am doing to help the condition of many Mala Yausafzai’s who tread alone.
But often a news like that shakes me up, makes me slow down a bit and feel blessed , I then take a deep breath and wonder what will I do about it? Don’t really have the right answer to that one, but I’ll talk about it to as many people as I can. I don’t know if it will make any difference but that I have a medium where I can express myself, I might as well use it. And if I was just able to raise a thought in even one head, make one of you feel a little more sensitive and humbled, I’ll know it was worth it.
Moving on to food, here’s an all time favourite recipe that you can’t ever have enough of. It was a perfect answer to the gloomy mood, delicious Saffron infused Gratin. My first instinct told me to add loads of cheese and saffron to potatoes and put it under the grill but then I needed to something to reduce the guilt over been fixed on potatoes. How did I do it, I added a few assorted vegetables, some white sauce, cream and some herbs. Did all of it reduce the guilt, not even a bit but instead increased it by many fold. Well what can I say, guess that’s the price I had to pay for a mouthful of deliciousness.
Ingredients (Serves 3-4):
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced to med thin chips
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced to med thin rounds
- 100 gms beans, cleaned and ends chopped off
- 6-8 baby corns, each cut to 3-4 strips lengthwise
- Few basil leaves, chopped
- 100 gm Parmesan or just Cheddar or any other cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoon bread crumbs
- 10-12 strands of saffron
- 150 ml water
- 150 ml milk
- 50 ml thick cream
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- 2 tablespoon butter and some more for greasing
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dried thyme for dressing
- Boil enough water and soak the cut vegetables leaving the baby corn and keep aside covered.
- Melt butter in a sauce pan, add the flour and fry for about a minute to make a paste, and then add milk and water while whisking continuously to avoid making any lumps.
- Simmer and cook till it turns into a thick sauce for a minute, remove from heat and stir in the saffron and cream. If there are any lumps just run the sauce through an electric blender once.
- Stir in the herbs and entire dressing. Then add 2/3 rd of the cheese and mix well.
- Pre-heat the oven to 250 oC. Drain the vegetables and add to the sauce and set aside.
- Grease a baking dish and pour the entire vegetable and sauce mixture into it. Cover with foil and bake at 200oC for 35-40 minutes, until the sauce bubbles and settles and vegetables are cooked.
- Then mix the remaining cheese with bread crumbs and sprinkle on the top and bake for another 5-7 minutes uncovered, till golden on the top. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and serve.
Dos and Don’ts:
- Add more vegetables as per your choice.
- Do add herbs to suit your taste to the sauce.
- Don’t over fry the flour with the butter and burn.
- Don’t leave lumps in the sauce.
- Cut the vegetables to even thickness to ensure cooking all through.
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