November 13, 2013 by caitlinvaclark
I think I’m in love. I’ve found my new favorite restaurant: Le Coq in Islington. I love their food and I love their concept, a set two or three course menu that changes weekly. There is only a choice between one of two appetizers and the same for desserts. Oh and of course what glass of wine you want to accompany your meal. The main is always their perfectly (and it better be with this model) roast chicken with a alternating side. Loved it.
The only issue is that they don’t take reservations. But not to worry. While I have a moral opposition to queuing, I will happily wait with a drink for my food. I just have to plan in advance. We arrived earlier than we wanted to eat, put our name in, and went across the street to a pub with a nice big beer garden.
The temperature was mild for this time of year so we were happily huddled under a heat lamp when my phone rang 30 minutes later. “We will be there in 2 minutes! Thanks!” The couple next to us chimed in, “Are you guys going to Le Coq? We just finished dinner there. It was great. The chicken is so good and so was their house red wine!” Ahhh community.
And so by my expected dinner time of 8:00 we were seated and sipping on a glass of Nero D’Avola. And the best part was there was no thinking to do with the menu. Just bring us all the things! we told our waitress, oh and a carafe of the house red for sure!
Eating roasted chicken makes me think about eating roasted turkey at Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving makes me think about side dishes. My sister-in-law is bringing the Brussels sprouts this year, so I figured I’d make mine favorite Brussels recipe early.
The base of this gratin is bacon, of course, but then I add onions and Dijon.
Once the creamy nutty gruyere cheese sauce has thickened, add back the bacon and 2 pounds of blanched Brussels sprouts.
To save on dishes, as I always love to do, I just bake the gratin in the Dutch oven, but you could of course pour the mixture in a different dish if you’ll be needing the pot for another dish.
I served the gratin with roasted chicken thighs that I browned then popped in a baking dish with lemons and garlic and thyme. Done and done.
It’s like a little taste of what’s around the corner with Turkey Day. Except one delicious side dish instead of the 8-85 that are in a Thanksgiving spread. But don’t you worry. Those will come soon enough.
Brussels Sprout Gratin
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
5 slices bacon
1 small onion, diced
1½ Tbs flour
1/3 cup white wine
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 cup milk
5 oz grated Gruyere cheese
1 Tbs olive oil
2/3 cup panko
¼ cup parmesan
Preheat oven to 375.
Boil the Brussels sprouts for 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain and reserve.
Chop the bacon and cook until crisp in a 12” skillet. Remove and strain on a paper towel, reserving for later. Pour out all but 2 Tbs bacon grease.
Sauté onion in bacon grease until tender and translucent, then add the flour. Cook 2 more minutes before deglazing pan with the wine.
Once the pan is deglazed and the mixture begins to thicken, stir in the mustard then rapidly whisk in the milk. Once mixture begins to thicken, about 8 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the grated cheese. Once blended, stir in the bacon and Brussels sprouts.
Mix panko and parmesan with olive oil and cover Brussels sprouts with the mixture. Bake for 35 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.