Friday, December 18, 2009

Boulud's Gratin

If you watch Top Chef, you will have seen guest appearances by famous French chef and generally adorable man, Daniel Boulud. He's the one who judged the snail-based quickfire challenge, famously complaining that he "couldn't taste the snail," which only seems like a bad thing if you are a French chef.

Anyway, this snail-free gratin recipe looks totally delicious and, happily, it doesn't contain either of the Forbidden Vegetables (broccoli and mushrooms) but only harmless Swiss chard.

I have a feeling Guy would like to object to chard, but cannot legitimately do so, having little to no awareness of what it actually is. He probably knows it's a green vegetable, so it's already "on notice" but I can probably get him to warily agree to eat it once it's safely smothered in gruyère, butter, garlic and parmesan:

• 6 lb. Swiss chard, washed, leaves and stems separated
• 2 T butter
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
• 2 T flour
• 1 cup milk
• ¼ tsp. nutmeg
• ½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
• ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
• Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and place a bowl of ice water on the side. Boil the chard leaves until tender, remove, and chill in the ice water. Strain well; chop leaves roughly and set aside. Cut the stems into thin slices. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon butter, 1 clove garlic, and stems, cooking until tender; remove and set aside. Add the flour and the remaining butter to the pan and reduce heat to low. Stir for 3 minutes, being careful not to brown the butter. Using a whisk, gradually stir in the milk and nutmeg. Cook, whisking, for 3 minutes. With a wooden spoon, add the chopped leaves, reserved garlic, and stems; season to taste. Transfer to a small casserole or individual-size casserole dishes. Sprinkle evenly with the cheeses and bake 6–8 minutes or until golden brown.


  1. That's a lotta chard! Are you up to separating leaves and stems on 6 lbs of that? But Guy would give it a try.

  2. Is it? I guess it is! Well, we'll see...

    Man cannot live on pate alone!



  4. You're really worried about that chard, aren't you?

  5. People eat snails?


  6. Hee hee!! Well, French people do....because they are crazy.

    But Daniel Boulud is such a good chef, he might even know how to make snails taste good.