This spur of the moment gratin turned out much better than I thought it would. In fact, in was delicious!
I had a pound of mushrooms in the fridge that were starting to go feral and wanted something quick and easy to do with them. Bacon and spinach go with everything, so I made a saute and included the mushrooms.
After that I made a white sauce and stirred in some cheddar cheese. If you want to try this, do take your time with the white sauce or you might end up with that unforgettable, heave inducing, raw flour taste that I had the misfortune to experience at a restaurant in County Clare, Ireland.
Mushroom, Bacon and Spinach Gratin
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup lardon
3 shallots, thinly sliced vertically
1 lb mushrooms, rinsed and quartered
3 cups baby spinach
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
Melt the butter in a frying pan and saute the lardon until it begins to brown. Add the shallots and continue to saute until they are soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. With a slotted spoon, divide the mushroom mixture between 3-4 ramekins and set aside.
Make a white sauce with the butter, flour and milk, cooking until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Remove from the flame and stir in the cheese until smooth. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Ladle some sauce into each ramekin, sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake in a 400 F oven for about 15 minutes until browned on top.