Monday, November 17, 2014

Butternut Squash Gratin via A KITCHEN IN FRANCE - Recipe and Cookbook Review

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Day four of my dinner party review...

The party was part of a review of of "A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse " by Mimi Thorisson.... 6 Recipes from the book,  8 Friends and family...

First, my disclaimer... I received this book FREE! courtesy of BLOGGING FOR BOOKS.  I was sent the book in exchange for this review.  The book was theirs, but the opinions are mine.

I posted my first course for a dinner party for 8 of my family and friends; Her Onion Tart recipe... (LOVED IT!).

I served the tart as my Sandwich in a Soup and Sandwich course.  I made Mimi's
PUMPKIN SOUP as the soup course.

Next came my Appetizer course... Her title for the recipe is "Gambas Flambees with Pastis" which translates to Prawns (or Shrimp) Flamed with an Anise flavored Liquor.  Worked FANTASTIC, stunning presentation, easy, fast and no First Responders needed to help.

The short version of my longer review of the book (see this post) is that  the book is astounding.  Stunningly beautiful photographs, wonderful descriptions of her family and life in the French countryside and of course wonderful recipes.  I made 6 dishes for my party and each came out as expected, and wonderful!

I served in courses, First course was to be a Soup and Sandwich.  I sort of fudged the sandwich and served the Onion Tart as the sandwich.  The pumpkin soup was served with the tart.  The flaming Shrimp was served as an appetizer and we are now into the main course with a side dish... here's the side!

A wonderful way to serve up seasonal Fall and early winter squash.  An alternative to potatoes or even sweet potatoes and filled with cheese, spices and a creamy base.

Delicious in every way!

Keep scrolling down for this easy to follow recipe...

OK... Here's what I did...

Butternut Gratin

  • 3 TBS Butter
  • 1 Large Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Large Butternut Squash, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • Sea Slat and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Cup, divided, Conte' Cheese (can use Gruyere or Swiss Cheese)
  • 2 TBS Butter, cut into 8-10 thin slices
  • Fresh Chives for Garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare a casserole pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large saute' pan, heat the butter over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the Garlic and Saute an additional 1 minute.
  3. Add the squash slices and season with the nutmeg and cook until slightly tender, another 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and mix. Transfer this mix to the prepared casserole dish. Pour the cream all over the top. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and the Bread Crumbs on the top. Dot with the remaining butter slices.
  5. Bake until golden brown and delicious for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve HOT with sprinkles of the Chives for garnish and ENJOY!
I served this with a Roasted Chicken recipe from the book.  Slathered in Creme Fraiche' and lots of herbs, made for a beautiful colorful presentation and a rustic French countryside mix of flavors!  Come back next post for the Roasted Chicken recipe.


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Ways to Cook Side Dish Recipes"!!!

Sure the meat gets all the glory but real cooks know it's the spread... the specialty Side Dishes that makes a meal rise or fall. Here's a few of my favorite recipes that will help to create that illusive COMPLETE MENU!

LOTS of Potato Sides, Vegetable Sides, Specialty Salads, Bread and MORE!


Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

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Here's my Menu for the night...

Pumpkin Soup
With an Onion Tart

Gambas Flambees
With Pastis

Roast Chicken With
Creme Fraiche and Herbs
Served with a
Butternut Squash

PLUS and AMAZING Spectacular
Chocolate Meringue Swirl

As I said, Each of the 6 recipes I tried from the book worked and worked spectacularly.  I have been doing a lot of non-challenging catering dishes lately.  It was fun and exciting to whip these dishes up and serve this menu to my friends.  All well received, all went as best as I could have imagined and I could not recommend this book highly enough.

Beautiful enough to be a table top book, inspiring enough to get lost in on a rainy Sunday afternoon...

And wonderful accessible workable recipes!

And one last disclaimer...
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."  But the review and opinions are 100% accurate and mine!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! Now on order from my library. Cheers from Carole's Chatter