Slow Cooker Squash Gratin
Slow cookers offer an energy-saving way to cook gratins, which usually need an hour of oven time. Double the recipe if your cooker’s capacity exceeds 4 quarts.
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp. salt, divided
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, drained and minced (1 Tbs.)
- 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese, divided (3½ oz.)
- 2 small acorn squash, peeled, quartered, and sliced ¾-inch thick
- 1 medium leek, halved, light green and white parts cut into 1-inch pieces (1 cup)
- 1½ Tbs. chopped fresh sage
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
- 3 Tbs. Italian-seasoned panko breadcrumbs
1. Spray inside of 3- to 4-qt. slow cooker with cooking spray. Add butter, cover, and heat on high 10 minutes, or until butter is melted.
2. Whisk flour and 1/4 tsp. salt into butter 1 minute, or until smooth. Gradually add 1/4 cup milk, whisking constantly 2 minutes, or until completely blended. Whisk in remaining 3/4 cup milk and minced chipotle. Stir in 3/4 cup Gouda. Cover, and cook 15 minutes, until cheese is almost melted and slow cooker is hot.
3. Meanwhile, combine squash, leek, sage, garlic, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in large bowl.
4. Uncover slow cooker, and whisk sauce 2 minutes, or until smooth. Stir squash mixture into sauce. Place single layer of paper towel across top of slow cooker, extending over edges, and securing with lid. Adjust slow cooker setting to low, and cook 3 to 4 hours, or until squash is tender. Turn off slow cooker, and remove lid and paper towel. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Gouda, and then breadcrumbs, over gratin; spray with cooking spray. Cook, uncovered, 5 minutes before serving.
March 2014 p.45