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Sunday Cooking Challenge has evolved into a rather regular weekend cooking circle. However, after a couple of months, it experiences a two-week hiatus due to busy schedules. Not until the seven-year-old asked why the aunties don’t come to cook anymore do we realize that the hiatus bubble is growing.So we decided to have a very casual dinner by the pool. Having burger and heaps of gratin. Here they are.

Burger: 400 gr minced beef, 1 pack/125gr cheese crackers, 1 tsp thyme, 1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley, 1/3 red onion, diced, 2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard, 1 large egg. Beat cheese crackers into fine grain, never mind a few lumps. Mix thoroughly with other ingredients. Do not overwork it. Shape into round patties 2 cm thick at around 8-9 cm diameter. Grill on a pan with a little oil. Sprinkle salt at this stage. Using a turner lightly press the patties so it will come in full contact with the pan. Don’t overpress as it will squeeze the juice out.  Cook them to your liking 3-4 minutes on each side.

Spinach Potato Gratin: 3 large bunch  of spinach, 2 large potatoes (peeled, thinly sliced and put aside in a bath of water), 200 ml light cooking cream, 227gr grated cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill, 2 garlic, chopped, 1 cup sliced scallions, ½ tsp grated nutmeg, ½ tsp salt, 2 sheet of cheese slices, ½ cup milk. Pick spinach leaves. Only  leave small stems. Blanche spinach in salted water for 2-3 minutes until cooked. Drain and wash immediately with cold water to retain the color. Put in strainer and pat with kitchen towel  to drain off excess water. Chop spinach into strips.

Sauté sliced scallions in a little oil until slightly wilted then turn off the heat. Pour spinach, nutmeg, dill, garlic, salt, light cooking cream, and a third of the grated cheese into the pan. Mix evenly. Prepare a casserole pan and coat with a thin layer of oil. Layer the pan with the sliced potatoes. Spread 1/3 of grated cheese on top. Spread spinach mixture evenly on top of potatoes. Top with remaining grated cheese and the cheese slices (split into strips). Pour milk all over the mixture. Bake in 175°C oven for 1 hour.

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