Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Mommy Mayhem, Manic Mommy... whatever, Melissa d'Arabian wins

Anyone watch The Next FoodNetwork Star: Season 5? This was my first season watching the show, so have no idea how it rates to the previous ones, but Manic Mommy, Melissa d'Arabian wins the day. Initially I wasn't quite sure about her, she's not a chef, just a home cook (like most of us) so I didn't really hold out much hope. But from the very first episode she had me, her apple tart/cookie thing was the only recipe I was craving after the show, not that FoodNetwork is giving it out! :/

I've been reading a lot on FoodNetwork's web site, not much of it so nice to Melissa...guess she'll have a lot of that coming, so I felt the need to try a recipe and give a shout out to a fellow mom, mom to 4, mom to twins - you get the idea!

FoodNetwork has decided the new show will be Ten Dollar Dinners... not so sure yet what I think of this, I'll be reserving judgement. I do know however that I'll be recording it, as the day/time slot they've chosen really stinks! (Sunday's 12:30pm, premieres Aug. 9)

5-Minute Individual Potato Gratins

2 large russet potatoes, roughly peeled and thinly slices
½ cup grated Swiss cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
¾ cup heavy cream
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Spray 8 muffin tins with vegetable spray. Layer potato slices, cheese, and onions into each muffin cup. Season with salt and pepper and top each gratin with 1 or 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.

3. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, removing the foil halfway through cooking time. Invert gratins onto plate and serve.

OK, I changed it up a little, cause that's what I do! Plus I was working with what I had. I really just made this to try it out, so reduced all the amounts down to make just 3 individual servings.

I used Swiss Gruyere and blue cheeses and chives instead of green onion, again cause it's what I had. I used a mandolin to slice my potatoes extra thin and save some time, then cut the slices in half to fit in the tin better, (too bad I about sliced off my finger...please people, madonlins come with a guard for a reason, use it!). I layered potatoes about half way up, poured in some cheese sauce, finished filling with sliced potatoes, then finished with the rest of the cheese sauce. There were about a gazillion complaints in the reviews of this recipe about their gratins sticking... I used standard tins, standard cooking spray and I had no problems at all, they came right out, so not sure what's up with everyone else's issue.

I gotta say, great recipe Melissa! This is the perfect size for me, I can make just what I want, saving me time and money...bonus: For some reason the cheese/potatoes got way crispy on the top/edges, maybe since it was cooked in a metal tin, instead of the ceramic dish I usually do gratins in, whatever the reason, those crunchy parts were like icing on my cake... or crunchy bits on my potato, er whatever, it was awe-some!

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Melissa said...

How funny! I have a blog scheduled to post tomorrow at 5am about The Next Food Network Star!

I'm glad you liked the potatoes. I'm looking forward to trying that recipe myself!

EverydayMama said...

You know what they say about Great

They really were good. I love Potatoes Gratin but the kids don't, so I was psyched to get a tip for small portions. I made the filler though a lot like the Paula Deen one I did last week, although as is should be good too.

edwardnortonfan said...

Hey there. I found your link in the comments to this recipe on the Food Network website, so I stopped over (hope you don't mind). I agree with you. I loved Jeffrey, but even the Meijer in my town (which has lots of exotic ingredients) didn't have Harissa, whereas Melissa's recipes include ingredients I can find at any grocery store, and they still taste delicious. It was nice to see someone down-to-earth (who didn't go to culinary school) win. I'm excited to watch her show. Thanks for blogging about this. I was planning on trying the recipe but everyone's complaints about it sticking had me worried. I'm glad someone else tried it (with some revisions) and it turned out well. Happy cooking!

EverydayMama said...

I'm glad you stopped by :) Melissa seems like a real genuine person, and a good cook on top. I found her fan page on FB, left a link and a request for 2 recipes, amazingly she responded directly back...I think I'm gonna like her a lot!