This past October I was a lucky winner of a Food52.com contest honoring Mimi Thorisson and her new book, A Kitchen in France. My prize package included three beautiful Staub cookware pieces: a cocotte, a fry pan, and a roasting dish. Since receiving the bundle I have used the cocotte nearly every weekend and the fry pan has seen quite a bit of action as well. But until New Years Eve I had yet to use the roasting pan. So, true to Mimi’s form, I decided to make a gratin to pair with our main dish component, a juicy rib eye topped with shallots, bone marrow, and red wine sauce. In preparing the gratin I took a few tips from both Ina Garten and Mimi’s gratin recipes – but also put my own spin on things. I was quite pleased with how the dish turned out and it complimented the steak beautifully.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 head cauliflower, broken into large florets
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup grated Comté cheese
- Fresh chives, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A dash of piment d’espelette
First prep the cauliflower. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the cauliflower florets in the pot for 5 to 6 minutes, then drain. While doing this, preheat the oven to 350° and butter a 10 inch roasting pan or baking dish.
While the cauliflower is draining, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Throw in the onion and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Next, transfer the onion mixture to the roasting dish and top with the cauliflower.
Then, pour the half-and-half over the onions, garlic, and cauliflower. Add the bread crumbs and cheese on top and dot with the last tablespoon of butter, divided. Finally, sprinkle the whole dish with a bit of piment d’espelette.
Bake the gratin until golden, roughly 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with chives.