Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blue food!

I may have mentioned this before, but I am having the best time with the goodies from our wonderful CSA, which, if you're in the Houston-Austin-San Antonio corridor, you obviously should check out for yourself. I have always heard that there are no blue foods, but this month we learned about the surprisingly blue blue potato (also known, just as creatively, as the purple potato). Not surprisingly, Joe did a Wikipedia search, from which we learned that the blue comes from the antioxidant anthocyanin and that you don't have to be a genius to have a Wikipedia entry (or to write one).

forgot to snap a pic but this is from the farm website

We also have some cheddar from local cheesemakers Veldhuizen Farms, which we were delighted to discover on the menu as part of the incredibly delicious cheddar & corn soufflé at Chez Roux. While I am not quite accomplished enough to even attempt a cheddar & corn soufflé, I was happy to incorporate the lovely cheddar into a creamy blue potato gratin.


This could have been our main dish, but we did have stuffed zucchini to burn through, so we devoured a very generous-sized side and then snuck spoonfuls from the gratin dish on the counter. Then there was lunch the next day, and we still have leftovers (just typing this makes me sad that we'll be in a Houston hotel room till Tuesday with those potatoes sitting beckoningly in the fridge). They don't photograph very well, particularly after my lousy job in plating them (ha! plating! there's likely a much better word, like 'slopping') and disrupting the beautiful browned surface, but even that surface looks a bit drippy in my photos. Fortunately, Joe's new iPhone app makes everything look hipper, so enjoy the hipness.


We chose to slice then boil the potatoes, prior to adding them to the cheese sauce. The blue water post-boiling was pretty awesome. We left the skins on, since they looked like they'd be darn tasty. I think we made the right choice.


Blue potatoes au gratin

adapted from this recipe from Recipezaar

makes 8 generous servings

2 lbs blue potatoes
2 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
2 cups 2% milk
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Thinly slice potatoes, using a knife or mandoline or food processor. Boil until just tender, 10-15 minutes; drain. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour; stir while cooking, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk then add garlic. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Stir in cheddar cheese and all but 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese. Add potatoes to sauce and gently stir to cover with sauce. Pour into 3 quart gratin or casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese over top. Bake casserole 55 minutes or until potatoes are tender and dish is bubbling and lightly brown on top. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

hip!

I'm gonna take a stab at posting this blog to a cool website to which Jess introduced me - we'll see how this goes...

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