Broccoli & Cheddar Gratin - Cook's Illustrated

Broccoli and Cheddar Gratin November 2007 Poorly made broccoli gratin is a gruesome merger of floury sauce and mealy broccoli sitting under a damp carpet of bread crumbs. Here is our take on how to do it right. STEP-BY-STEP Preparing Broccoli 1. Place the head of the broccoli upside down on the cutting board and use a large knife to trim off the florets very close to their heads. Cut the florets into 1-inch pieces. 2. Stand each stalk up on the cutting board and square it off with a large knife. This will remove the outer 1/8 inch from the stalk, which is quite tough. Now cut the stalk in half lengthwise.

Broccoli & Cheddar Gratin - Cook's Illustrated
Broccoli & Cheddar Gratin - Cook's Illustrated

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

Ingredients

  • Serves 6. Published November 1, 2007.

  • INGREDIENTS

  • Bread Crumb Topping

  • 2

    slices white sandwich bread , each slice torn into quarters (about 2 1/2 ounces)

  • 2

    tablespoons unsalted butter , softened

  • 1/4

    teaspoon table salt

  • 1/8

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Filling

  • 1

    tablespoon table salt plus an additional 1/4 teaspoon

  • 2

    pounds broccoli (about 1 large bunch), florets trimmed to 1-inch pieces, stalks peeled and chopped medium

  • 2

    tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1

    medium shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 1

    clove garlic , minced

  • 1

    tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 3/4

    cup heavy cream

  • 3/4

    cup low-sodium chicken broth

  • Pinch fresh ground nutmeg

  • Pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1/8

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1

    teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

  • 4

    ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)

Directions

Serves 6. Published November 1, 2007. INSTRUCTIONS 1. For the topping: Pulse bread, butter, salt, and pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses; set aside. 2. For the filling: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven or stockpot over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and broccoli; cook until exterior is tender but interior is still slightly crunchy, about 3 minutes. Drain broccoli in colander; leave in colander while preparing sauce. 3. Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat; when foam subsides, add shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; stir in flour until combined, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream and broth; bring to boil. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, thyme, and two-thirds cheese until incorporated. Off heat, gently stir in broccoli until evenly combined. Transfer mixture to 11- by 7-inch (2-quart) gratin dish. Sprinkle remaining one-third cheese evenly over surface, then sprinkle evenly with bread crumb topping. Bake until golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.

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