Thu 14 Dec 2017
Read other related stories: Brussels Sprout , Cheese , Gas Grill Techniques , Vegetables
GRATIN TAKES A SMOKY TURN
Gratin is one of those side dishes that usually gets made at the holidays or for a special occasion dinner. For some reason, it has the stigma of being difficult and time consuming.
Nothing could be further from the truth when you use our gratin recipe.
Smoky Meets Creamy Goodness
In our previous series, we took whole Brussels sprouts and smoked them on the gas grill using Wild Cherry wood chunks. Taking the boldness of smoke, we knew blending that flavor with cheese would produce a balanced, creamy outcome.
Most gratin recipes don’t contain a lot of ingredients but the béchamel sauce can be tricky if you don’t stay with your saucepan the whole time. For our gratin recipe you will need:
▪ 2 tablespoons butter
▪ 2 tablespoons flour
▪ coarse salt
▪ fresh ground pepper
▪ 2 cups whole milk
▪ 1/3 cup shredded Asiago cheese
▪ 1/3 cup shredded 2nd cheese like Fontina though I’m using a leek cheese
▪ 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
▪ 1-1/2 pounds of smoked Brussels sprouts
First up, making the béchamel sauce.
Béchamel sauce is a fancy name for white sauce that starts with a roux of butter and flour. Begin melting two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Once melted we add 2 tablespoons of flour and begin the whisking process. This will produce a thick, paste like consistency. Gradually, add the two cups of whole milk, whisking the entire time. This is the key to a good béchamel sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce to low heat whisking again. Once thickened, season with salt and fresh ground pepper, and remove from the heat. Add in each cheese, whisking each addition until melted.
Layer on the Flavor
Time to lay the smoked Brussels sprouts in a baking dish. Try to use a dish big enough to make one even layer of sprouts. Pour the béchamel sauce over the Brussels sprouts ensuring an evening coating. Take the 2/3 cup of Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the sauced sprouts. Place the baking dish in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 minutes until bubbling and golden.
The cheese cuts through the mild bitterness of the Brussels sprouts while the smoke flavor adds that special taste bud tingle.