Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rosie Makes Shrimp Gratin.

Rosie has leftover cooked shrimp in her fridge and it's lunchtime.
We're having Shrimp Moreovers
 in the guise of Shrimp Gratin.
 There are three parts to my Shrimp Gratin:
 Shrimp, Onions, and Toasted Sliced Almonds
Mornay Sauce
 Bread Crumb and Herb Topping
I can be quite self-indulgent at times.
Too bad you missed this, Mr. Hawthorne.
Maybe I'll save you some.

1/2 pound shrimp
 (That's less than a half pound above, but I'm using what I have. I recommend at least a 1/2 pound for the amount of Mornay I made.)
1/2 onion, chopped
 handful of toasted almonds

 For the Mornay:
1 1/2 TB butter
 1 1/2 TB flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
 1/3 cup Gruyere cheese
grated nutmeg
 freshly ground salt and pepper

 For the topping:
1/4 cup Panko Bread crumbs
 5 Ritz crackers crushed
 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 assorted fresh herbs
 I used parsley, chives, and a sprig of thyme
Shrimp, onions, and toasted almonds go into my casserole dish.

Next, the topping:
Some parsley, chives, and a sprig of thyme.
Mix the panko and parmesan.
Add the chopped parsley and chives and the stripped thyme leaves.
Crumble in the Ritz and mix well.
Set the topping aside and prepare the Mornay Sauce.
What's a Mornay Sauce, you ask?
 A Mornay Sauce, a classic French sauce,
is a Bechamel Sauce to which cheese,
 usually Swiss or Parmesan, is added.
 What's a Bechamel Sauce, you ask?
 A Bechamel Sauce is another classic French sauce made from a roux
 to which milk or cream is added.
First, you make a roux.
Equal amounts of butter and flour.
Melt 1 1/2 TB butter.
Whisk in the flour over medium low heat and cook,
whisking constantly, for about 2-3 minutes until flour is cooked.
Do not let the roux brown.
Slowly add in the 1/2 cup of milk, whisking constantly.
When you first add in the liquid, the roux will seize up.
 Don't worry.
Just add in more and whisk merrily away, letting the mixture thicken.
Gradually add in the 1/2 cup heavy cream, constantly whisking.
When your Mornay Sauce is of desired consistency
- thick and creamy -
taste test and season.
 Add freshly ground salt and pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste.
Lastly, add in Gruyere cheese.
Pour over shrimpies.
Top with breadcrumb, Parmesan, and herb mixture.
This went into a 300 degree toaster oven for about 15 minutes.
You want it heated through and the top slightly browned.
 Watch it closely and tent with foil if the top starts to brown too much.

Oh my, I liked this.
 Rich and creamy.
Bite of the onion.
Crispy topping enhanced by herbs.
This is happy food.
Come to Mama.
Try it.
You'll love it.
 If you'd like to make a few changes to this,
 here's what I'd recommend:
A splash of sherry in the white sauce wouldn't hurt at all.
 Also, frozen green peas and sliced water chestnuts
 with the shrimp would be a nice addition.

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