Potato and Mushroom Gratin

Potato and Mushroom Gratin

Potato and Mushroom Gratin

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Sliced mushrooms, gruyere cheese and potatoes in a basket are being prepped for Potato and Mushroom Gratin.

With Easter just around the corner, you’ll want to be dinner ready for family and friends. Hopefully, with some luck, the Covid-19 gathering restrictions will ease in my area and a modest gathering can take place. I do miss my family and friends, and I miss cooking for them. It’s the best part of any gathering, in my opinion. You’re gonna love this easy and delicious Potato and Mushroom Gratin. It feeds 8 people, it’s easy to assemble and bakes up golden and creamy every time. There’s no messing around with cooking a white sauce, there’s no boilovers and no pre-cooking potatoes. It’s a no-fuss casserole, loaded with earthy mushrooms and Gruyere cheese, and has become my favourite to serve with ham. It’s also fantastic served with roast chicken, pork or grilled steak.

Sauteed mushroom in a stainless steel skillet that have been cooked for Potato and Mushroom Gratin.
A prepped and layered Potato and Mushroom Gratin in a red casserole dish ready for the oven.

What makes this potato casserole a winner in my books is the simplicity of the sauce. The mixture of cream and sour cream makes it extra creamy and the sour cream gives a little tang. The sauce is whisked together cold and poured over the potato slices. I find there’s no need to be fussy with the potato arrangement either. Simply toss the slices into the casserole dish and spread them around evenly instead of trying to layer them ever so carefully. If you don’t have a mandolin for thinly slicing the potatoes, that’s no problem, simply slice as thin as you can by hand and cook for the longest time suggested in the recipe. Remember, dinner doesn’t need to be fussy. This simple casserole is not only delicious, but it also feeds a small crowd and is worthy of your family gathering. Enjoy!

Potato and Mushroom Gratin baked golden in a red casserole dish and garnished with chopped green onions.

Potato and Mushroom Gratin baked golden in a red casserole dish and garnished with chopped green onions.
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Potato and Mushroom Gratin

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp salted butter plus more for dish
  • 16 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced see note
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream, full fat
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes see note
  • 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and butter a large 3-quart casserole dish.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until starting to foam. Add mushroom and cook until lightly browned and the moisture has evaporated. Add minced garlic and continue to cook, stirring often for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
  • While mushrooms are cooking, whisk together cream, sour cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. In a separate bowl whisk together milk and flour until smooth. Add to the sour cream and cream and whisk until incorporated. Grate the cheese and set it aside.
  • Peel and thinly slice potatoes. Spread half of the potato slices evenly in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Scatter half of the sauteed mushroom and half of the cheese evenly over the potatoes. Repeat with remaining potatoes, mushrooms and cheese.
  • Pour cream mixture evenly over potatoes. Give the pan a gentle shake to help flatten everything out. Cover and bake for 45-60 minutes (this will depend on how thin you've sliced the potatoes) Start checking at 45 minutes. The potatoes should be almost tender in the center. Remove cover and bake for an additional 20 minutes until the top is golden.
  • Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or sliced green onions if desired.

Notes

-Russet potatoes work well for this recipe, however,  I've also used red potatoes with equally good results.
-The covered cooking time will vary slightly depending on how thin you've sliced the potatoes.  I find cutting them by hand instead of using a mandolin requires closer to 60 minutes covered.
-I like using cremini mushrooms for this recipe as they have a little more earthiness than regular white mushrooms, however, either work well as does a mix of mushrooms.

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Chocolate Chambord Truffles

Chocolate Chambord Truffles

Chocolate Chambord Truffles

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Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.

Truffles may look difficult to make, but in reality, they are quite simple. There’s no special equipment or forbidden secret, like how you get the caramel in the Caramilk bar. What is needed most is a little bit of patience and part of that is the patience not to eat the ganache before the truffles are rolled, LOL! It takes time for cooling, rolling and coating the truffles, but trust me, they are simple and delicious.

Truffles are merely chocolate ganache (chocolate and heavy cream) rolled into balls and coated with cocoa powder or melted chocolate and anything you’d like to sprinkle on them. This recipe flavours the ganache with Chambord (raspberry liqueur) and then garnished with a chocolate coating and candied hearts for an elegant yet simple finish.

Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.

Don’t be afraid of tempering chocolate if you want a smooth glossy finish to your truffles. I did not temper the chocolate for this post (the ones in the pictures), and they still look amazing. It’s an optional process if you choose to do it. It provides stable chocolate that keeps a gloss even when set.

Basic tempering:

Finely chop chocolate and heat 2/3 of it over a double boiler until melted and not warmer than 120°F. Turn off the heat and remove the bowl, wiping any moisture from the bottom. Gradually add 1-2 tablespoons of chopped chocolate, stirring and allowing the chocolate to melt before adding more until the temperature drops to 86°F. Return the bowl to the double boiler and warm to 88-91°F and start dipping.

Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.

Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.
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Chocolate Chambord Truffles

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Truffles

  • 8 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate 60-70% cocoa
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Chambord raspberry liqueur
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Dipping

  • 10 ounces good quality milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions

Truffles

  • Finely chop chocolate and place in a medium bowl. Heat cream until hot but not boiling. Pour cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk gently to bring cream and chocolate together and the mixture is smooth and silky.
  • Stir in the Chambord until combined and then stir in the room temperature butter. Scrape the sides of the bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the chocolate. Allow to cool at room temperature until scoopable (mixture will still be soft).
  • Using a 15ml scoop or a tablespoon, scoop chocolate onto a parchment lined tray. Chill until firm.
  • Using clean dry hands, roll each scoop into a smooth ball and place on a clean sheet of parchment. Rinsing your hands in cool water and drying them about every 4 rolls helps to achieve a uniform and smooth ball.
  • Keep truffles chilled until ready to coat.

Dipping

  • Finely chop the chocolate and place it in the top of a double boiler making sure the water does not touch the upper bowl/pot. Melt gently, stirring occasionally until liquid and smooth.
  • Pour melted chocolate into a small wide glass or wide mouth 250ml mason jar. Using a skewer or toothpick dip each ball into the melted chocolate to cover completely. Remove immediately and allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place truffle on a clean parchment-lined tray and twist toothpick gently to remove. Repeat the dipping process for each truffle. Chill truffles until firm. Alternatively, you can dip each truffle by placing one at a time directly in the melted chocolate and removing with a fork from underneath the truffle, allowing the excess chocolate to drip off.
  • Decorate truffles by drizzling remaining dipping chocolate over each truffle and garnish with your favourite edible decoration.

Notes

-You can roll each truffle in cocoa if you prefer and skip the dipping.
-Keeping the truffles chilled as you go in the dipping process helps keep them firm enough to handle.
-I did not have a 1tbsp scoop, so I used a 2tbsp scoop and sliced each ball in half before rolling.
-Placing the cup or mason jar with the melted dipping chocolate in a larger vessel with hot water helps to keep chocolate warm and smooth for dipping (plan for the water displacement). Warming for 30 seconds in the microwave will also help keep it melted as you go.
-Any remaining dipping chocolate can be poured onto parchment and allowed to set for use in another recipe (do not waste it).

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Caramel Irish Coffee

Caramel Irish Coffee

Caramel Irish Coffee

Caramel Irish Coffee drizzled with caramel sauce and served in a clear mug.

Who knew Irish Coffee had its own day? According to Foodimentary, January 25th is National Irish Coffee Day. So let’s celebrate with a delicious and warming Caramel Irish Coffee. It is a tasty twist on the original Irish Coffee, which is sweetened with sugar. The caramel not only adds the required sweetness but depth of flavour. I recommend using homemade caramel sauce, but you can use store-bought if using a quality product. It is also important to make good quality coffee for this recipe as it is the major component. I used a medium roast Colombian coffee. You can use your favourite, it just needs to be robust, fresh and hot!! If you like an after-dinner sipper, this cocktail encompasses dessert as well in my opinion. Sweet and creamy with a punch of whiskey and coffee. It is delicious, enjoy!

Looking for more fun food days??

Foodimentary

Need a dreamy caramel sauce?

Spiced Rum Caramel

Caramel Irish Coffee drizzled with caramel sauce and served in a clear mug.

Caramel Irish Coffee drizzled with caramel sauce and served in a clear mug.
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Caramel Irish Coffee

Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Irish Whiskey I used Jameson
  • 1 heaping tbsp caramel sauce plus more for top
  • 6 ounces robust, hot coffee
  • as needed lightly whipped heavy cream

Instructions

  • Add hot water to an 8 ounce or larger coffee mug and allow to sit and warm mug while proceeding.
  • Make coffee and whip 1/4-1/3 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form or use a whipped cream dispenser.
  • Pour the water out of the mug and add Irish whiskey and caramel, stir to combine. Pour in coffee and stir. Top with whipped cream and garnish with additional caramel sauce as desired.

Notes

-you can use homemade or store bought caramel sauce.  My preference is homemade, here is a link to the one I used substituting the spiced rum with a tsp of vanilla. Spiced Rum Caramel
-the prep time for this recipe does not include the time it takes to make homemade caramel sauce.

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Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

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A shallow bowl filled with Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops and pieces of crusty bread.

Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops is a wonderful homemade dinner ready in about 40 minutes when using jarred roasted red peppers. Roasted red peppers are widely available at most grocery stores and they make wonderful sauces and dips. For this recipe, the roasted red peppers are pureed with onion, garlic, herbs, and cream for a luscious sauce that hugs the spaghetti nicely and makes an easy yet delicious dinner.

Dry spaghetti, onion, garlic and salt arranged around a black pot in preparation for Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops.

It’s not always easy being creative in the kitchen and coming up with a wide range of meal options for you and your family, especially if you have picker eaters. Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops has a blended sauce that is smooth, creamy and mild in taste, making it appealing to many.  Not a fan of scallops? Try the recipe with shrimp, cooked chicken chunks or just an extra sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Other kinds of pasta like linguine or fettuccine will work well too, so use up what you have. The creamy sauce can be made up to two days in advance and warmed gently on the stove before adding the scallops. But I find little need to make it ahead of time when it comes together quickly as it is. But if you are all about the meal prep, I would suggest making a double batch of sauce and freezing half for use later. You just can’t beat meals made from scratch and this is a great dinner to have on rotation.  Enjoy!

Red Pepper sauce in a stainless steel sauce pan ready for cooked spaghetti for Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops.
A shallow bowl filled with Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops and pieces of crusty bread.

A shallow bowl filled with Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops and pieces of crusty bread.
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Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 340ml jar roasted red peppers, drained about 8 ounces
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 12 ounces bay scallops, patted dry
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • as needed chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot of well-salted water to a simmer. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions, about 8-9 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft but not browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the white wine and reduce for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, herbs and spices and continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated.
  • Pour mixture into a blender along with roasted red peppers. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour the sauce back into the pan and whisk in cream. Heat to a simmer and reduce for 1-2 minutes. Add the scallops and cook for about 3 minutes (depending on size) stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and adjust salt to taste. Add the cooked spaghetti and Parmesan cheese tossing to coat in sauce, adding a splash of pasta water if needed.
  • Divide among serving dishes and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Notes

-

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Creamy Lemon Pops

Creamy Lemon Pops

CREAMY LEMON POPS

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Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.

It’s still summer, thankfully! So this means there’s still time to enjoy these delicious Creamy Lemon Pops. This week in central Alberta the weather is scheduled to be one of the nicest of the summer, assuming the weatherman gets it right of course!! It’s crazy to think people can predict the weather 30 years from now with global warming but can’t seem to predict two days out. It’s frustrating, to say the least, when trying to plan activities and having a very short summer season. But all my mumbling aside, these Creamy Lemon Pops are packed with lemon flavour from fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. They’re creamy and delicious but not overly sweet, which makes them great in hot weather.

Creamy Lemon Pops in a popsicle mold with a tray of Creamy Lemon Pops garnished with strawberries and mint in the foreground.

The recipe is a riff on a Semifreddo, meaning half-frozen and like custard-style ice cream. I’ve gone and added yogurt and lightened up on the sugar to make these lovely treats. They’re super creamy and indulgent, making them great for kids and adults alike. So go ahead and treat yourself while the sun still shines this summer, enjoy!

Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.

Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.
Creamy Lemon Pops
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
    Cook Time
    4-5 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
    Cook Time
    4-5 minutes
    Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.
    Creamy Lemon Pops
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
      Cook Time
      4-5 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
      Cook Time
      4-5 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: popsicles
      Instructions
      1. In a small bowl whisk together egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Place the bowl over a double boiler, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat over medium, whisking constantly until mixture registers 170°F, about 4 minutes.
      2. Remove from heat and place in the fridge while proceeding.
      3. Whip heavy cream until firm peaks hold. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
      4. Using the same beaters, whip the warm egg yolk mixture until creamy, lite, and cool/room temperature to the touch, about 4 minutes. Stir in Greek yogurt until combined.
      5. Fold whipped cream into egg mixture until combined. Divide evenly into 8-80ml popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Run warm water over the popsicle molds to loosen slightly before pulling the popsicles out. Popsicles will last for a week if kept covered and in the mold.
      Recipe Notes

      -If preferred, remove all popsicles at once and store them in an airtight container for up to one week.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com