Potatoes Au Gratin and Skewered prawns

Potatoes au gratin, skewered grilled prawns and creamed spinach with feta cheese

Potatoes au gratin is one of my favourite dishes. Super easy and great for the student lifestyle that I lead. According to Wikipedia:

Gratin (French pronunciation: [ɡʁaˈtɛ̃]) is a widespread culinary technique in food preparation in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbsgrated cheese, egg and/or butter.[1][2][3] Gratin originated in French cuisine and is usually prepared in a shallow dish of some kind. A gratin is baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish.[1]

Basically the potatoes are peeled and sliced, put into a shallow casserole dish, mixed with various vegetables or meats, mixed with milk and cream then sometimes covered with bread crumbs and cheese. Generally in my experience it takes 50mins to an hour to bake.  What the vegetables or meat your poatatoes are mixed with is really a personal preference. How ever for your first time trying them, it is best to follow a recipe of some sort. I’ve also made plain potatoes au gratin which has no meat or vegetables added. Follow this link for a simple potatoes au gratin method. It is really easy and there are beautiful clear pictures that show every step. Since I tend to not buy more than 500ml of cream per month I opt for a cheaper method which is to use Royco potato bake powder which you just mix with milk.

Potatoes, carrots, lemon pepper and garlic.
Potatoes covered in potato bake and milk mixture

I bake the potatoes for an hour and then remove and serve immidiately. I usually don’t add grated cheese but every now and then it’s a welcome addition.

Skewered prawns accompanied my potatoes. I simply cut up some peppers and put them on a skewer with prawns. I decided to buy already shelled and de-veined prawns this time and I regret it. The prawns don’t taste as fresh and they’re a bit broken. As much as I dislike their beady eyes I shall stick to the buying whole prawns in the future.

I made the following sweet and sour sauce to baste them with while grilling (sauce recipe via All Recipes):

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

I made more as needed throughout the grilling process. I wasn’t too satisfied but I attribute that mainly to the type of prawns I bought. I will try this again with whole prawns in the future.

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