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Friday, December 24, 2010

Gone, but not "for-gratin"...

As I sat down to write this blog post tonight, it occurred to me that it's been a couple weeks since my last entry. I guess the holidays have gotten the best of me! I've been gone, but I hope not "for-gratin" (we'll get to that in a second). Tonight, Keith and I were enjoying a peaceful Christmas Eve in front a roaring fire (yes, in Charleston) with a glass (or two) of bubbly...

...When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a news alert naming me blog of the year!
That's right, yesterday FoxNews.com included The Svelte Gourmet in their "Best Health Blogs of 2010" feature! (!!!) I'm beyond excited, and I hope this means I'll be able to share my stories and recipes with even more people in 2011. Which reminds me, New Year's Resolution time is only a week away...

So back to the task at hand. Onion gratin. Which, let me tell you, is SO good that I've made it for the past few dinners I've hosted and attended -- a couple Thanksgivings and a Christmas feast already this year! It sounds a little weird, with the main ingredient being the modest onion, but the combination of spices and flavors turns this pungent veggie into a sweet and savory masterpiece. And at only around 85 calories per serving, you're still well below the calorie counts of mashed potatoes, sweet potato casseroles, any "cream of" dish -- even less than a 2-inch dinner roll!

Gone, But Not "For-Gratin" Onion Gratin
Serves 8

4 medium sweet onions
Dried sage
Dried thyme
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (grated, shredded or ground)
1/2 cup skim milk
1 egg
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp salted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mist cookie sheet(s) with olive oil. Slice onions 1/4 inch thick, keeping rings intact. Lay onion slices in a single layer on the cookie sheet(s), sprinkle with sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Mist lightly with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes. In the meantime, mist a pie dish or casserole lightly with olive oil. In a separate bowl, beat milk and egg. Remove onion slices from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375. Place onions in casserole or pie dish in a single layer, sprinkle with half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Place remaining onions in another layer. Pour milk/egg mixture over onion layers, sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano, then sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs. In a small saucepan, brown butter (cook butter on high until it foams, foam subsides, and milk solids fall to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown). Remove from heat when butter begins to turn a deep golden brown and immediately drizzle over casserole. Bake for 30 minutes.

I'll keep this entry short and sweet (seriously, wait until you taste what happens to those onions!) since it's Christmas Eve. I'm sure you all have better things to do tonight, but I encourage you to make this soon -- even as a last minute addition to your Christmas menu (as you probably already have everything you need in the pantry!). This will be one recipe your friends and family request again and again.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I'll see you all back here in a week or so. Get your resolutions ready -- armed with some great healthy recipes, you won't have to break them!

The Svelte Gourmet: A Month of Main Courses cookbook is available at www.thesveltegourmet.com/products.html. Enjoy!

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