Saturday, August 22, 2009

Quick Fix Dinner - Squash Gratin, plus Julie & Julia

Last week, I posted a meal I made for dinner guests: Parmesan Chicken with Provencal Tomatoes, by Ina Garten. I had several pieces of uncooked chicken breast and extra seasoned breadcrumbs that I didn't want to go to waste. Our fridge also has several pieces of various cheeses, so I decided to use the breadcrumbs to make a simple zucchini and yellow squash gratin.

In a bowl, I sliced the two smallish zucchinis and one yellow squash. I found half a red onion, so I sliced that and tossed it in. I make my own Italian style seasoning, from dried herbs-- basil, oregano, thyme, and a little marjoram so I added about a tablespoon of that-- a little kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

I found a little bit of the leftover Mascarpone substitute that I made the week before. I debated adding it, and then I decided to go for it. I think I added about 1/4 cup. I had a leftover piece of Gruyere cheese, so I grated that on top of the vegetables before adding the seasoned panko crumbs.

Remembering that the original breadcrumb recipe turned out to be too dry, I drizzled a little bit of olive oil to bind the panko crumbs a bit more. Into a buttered gratin dish, I layered the squash and then covered the vegetables with the leftover breadcrumbs. Perfect! I sprinkled the last of the Gruyere cheese on top and set the timer for 20 minutes.

While the vegetables were baking at 350F , I quickly dredged the leftover chicken breasts in seasoned flour and seared them in a little olive oil and unsalted butter for a few minutes. After removing them, and covering in foil, I set them aside. Next, I cooked cremini mushrooms in the same pan I had cooked the chicken in-- then I added some minced garlic, white wine and some chicken stock. I returned the chicken, and the juices, to the pan and let that simmer lightly.

I made my "no fail" garlic mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes, which takes about 20 minutes as well. I had started the potatoes cooking before I started assembling the gratin. The gratin smelled heavenly while it was in the oven. It looked pretty nice when it was finished, if I do say so myself!

From start to finish-- 30 minutes. Not a bad way to use up leftovers at all. I will definitely make this gratin again. I don't think I need to print a recipe-- it's pretty simple, don't you think?

I adore and appreciate my husband! Not only is he willing to have lunch with me at a tea room-- he willingly came to see the movie, Julie & Julia with me, this afternoon. Meryl Streep is Julia Child! She is brilliant, funny and we totally enjoyed the movie. I think Craig could relate to Julie Powell and her world of food blogging. I was surprised at how long the movie was, but we both enjoyed it a lot.

I did visit "The Julie/Julia Project" blog, when I returned home. Yikes! She definitely uses her share of profanity! Still, I found her style of writing interesting. I admire her for cooking that many recipe in one year. I don't think I could be that dedicated!

The movie makes me want to revisit Julia Child's TV shows. If you haven't seen the movie, I think it's worth the price of admission. But, don't go hungry. I walked out craving her Boeuf Bourguignon. Has anyone made it? To see movie previews, and an interview with Meryl Streep, click here:

Perfect Double Cream Garlic Mashed Potatoes

My only frustration in making tonight's dinner was racing ...

See Perfect Double Cream Garlic Mashed Potatoes on Key Ingredient.

Mascarpone Cheese Substitute

I was making a recipe for a Spring Risotto, and ...

See Mascarpone Cheese Substitute on Key Ingredient.

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Monica H said...

Yummy! This would be a perfect addition to any meal any time of year. I love squash and cheese and panko.

I SO want to go see this movie. I will one day, hopefully soon.

Donna-FFW said...

This looks delicious. I would like the whole complete plate full you pictured. I am anxious to see the movie, have read the book, enjoyed it, so want to see the on screen version. Havent visited the blog, but I will, the profanity wont offend me. Takes a lot to do that.:)

Stacey Snacks said...

I made a squash gratin too!
from Suzanne's Goin's Sunday Suppers book. It took me all day.
But it was worth it!

Kate said...

Your dinner looks delicious! I love squash gratins. There is such an abundance of squash this time of year.

The movie was great! I went with a friend and we decided to make the Boeuf Bourguignon together for the guys. I have made Ina's in the past and I love it.

Kerstin said...

I always enjoy squash gratins and yours looks so good!

I loved the movie too!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

The gratin looks excellent - and perfect timing with all the summer squash! Wasn't the movie great? A feast in the theater!

Karine said...

Your gratin sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

Danielle said...

your squash gratin looks wonderful. I love finding new ways to eat squash. and yes, the Julie & Julia movie is fantastic. :) I absolutely loved it

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Your gratin is gorgeous and I use panko crumbs more and more these days. Loved the movie too but I was surprised after I read her blog. It wasn't the profanity exactly; can't put my finger on it. The movie said Julia wasn't pleased - I wonder if that's true. I read the book and don't remember that part.