Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rosie's Friday Night Dinner.

I wanted something a bit different for a side dish tonight so I turned to Vagina Gardens, the Barefoot Contessa. I decided to make her Spinach Gratin
since it got a five star review and people had raved about it.

Here are all the ingredients. And by the way, I halved everything.
I'll give you the halved recipe, since Food Network's site says Ina's recipe is available for a limited time only.

2 TB butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1/8 cup flour
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds frozen chopped spinach (I used fresh.)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 TB kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

I melted the butter in a pan over medium heat, added the onions,
and sauteed for about 15 minutes.
Next, I added the flour and nutmeg and cooked, stirring, for 2 more minutes.

Next I added the cream and milk and cooked until thickened.
Then I added my fresh spinach which I had steamed a bit, then chopped, then squeezed to get out as much liquid as possible.

Finally, I added half the Parmesan cheese to the mix.

Poured it all into a baking dish.

And topped with the rest of the Parmesan cheese and the Gruyere.

Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Well, color me unimpressed.
I imagine Ina's minions will be throwing rotten tomatoes at me because she is a Goddess, but my professional opinion of this dish is "meh."

It makes a better dip than a side dish.
And I'd give it a one star.
Perhaps it was my fresh spinach that did it.

Next up, Mahi Mahi.
Mr. Hawthorne is removing the bloodline from the fish. This can be very strong flavored and distasteful, depending on the fish. We always remove it.

Nice mahi mahi fillets and discarded blood lines.

Put the fish fillets in beaten eggs.

Then dredge through ground pistachios.

Saute in a combo of olive oil (I use Bertolli Extra Light.) and butter (Land o' Lakes unsalted)
until brown on both sides.

Then add in some white wine or sherry. I gave it a bit of both.
Put in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

We decided to go for a surf and turf night.
While I finished off the Mahi Mahi, Mr. Hawthorne grilled the London Broil.
All I put on it was salt and pepper, then let it come to room temperature before grilling.
And yes, those are actual grill marks. No MV'd sharpie marks for Mr. Hawthorne.

Spinach Gratin, Pistachio Encrusted Mahi Mahi, Grilled London Broil, and Mashed Potatoes completed our repast.
And quite a tasty one at that.
And all the little Hawthornes enjoyed it.


Marilyn said...

Well, Rosie, I agree with you that many of Ina's recipes end up being 'meh'. The rest looked terrific, though.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Well, Marilyn, if I had Tiara or MichaeltheFlorist, I imagine things would be much better. Not to mention Crazy Edwina. Or poor Anna. And I have my little Jeffery Hobbit in Mr. Hawthorne. And he knows how to buy spinach. All I need is whale pants.