The garden is going nuts and there are vegetables and greens to use, so last week I made this bacon Swiss chard potatoes au gratin dish. It was terrific with the fresh lake trout I caught in Lake Superior the day before and fresh garden broccoli sauteed with garlic.
The summer has been busy, busy. I haven’t had too much time to do blog posts. Last Monday I went fishing with brother-in-law John and Mary Jo’s cousin Al, with a guide on Clearwater Lake near Annandale, MN. We cast spinner baits for bass and northern pike. We ended up keeping 6 northerns and 1 nice bass.
On Tuesday, the three amigos drove up to Duluth, staying there overnight to jump on a charter fishing trip at 6:30 am on Wednesday. We started fishing on Lake Superior by 7:30 and had caught 10 lake trout by 2:00 pm. None of the fish were big, they were all 2 to 4 pounders. John hooked a big Laker that looked like it would have been 12 to 15 pounds. It was huge compared to what we had been catching. When the fish got up to the surface from 75 feet down, it still had enough fight in it to quickly turn and break the line. Bummer!
We stayed overnight again in Duluth Wednesday night and went to The New London Cafe for a great breakfast Thursday morning before heading back to the Twin Cities. I made this dish that evening and on Friday, Mary Jo and I were off to Litchfield, MN for our oldest daughter Kris’ wedding.
The rest of the summer should be a little less hectic, but our daughter Josie and husband Micah just bought a small farm in Le Sueur MN and the house needs some work. We’ll be going down there to help out quite a bit in the coming weeks.
Getting back to the bacon Swiss chard potatoes au gratin dish, there are a couple of things to discuss. First, if you have a mandoline, slicing the potatoes will be easy. I don’t have one, so the potatoes were sliced by hand with a very sharp chefs knife. They should be about 1/8 inch slices. Secondly, when you wilt the Swiss chard, don’t cook it down too much. It should still have a little body so you can grab individual strips to layer on the potatoes. Thirdly, you could substitute cooked ham for the bacon and it would be really good too.
Here’s the handy printable recipe for bacon Swiss chard potatoes au gratin.
- 7 or 8 large Swiss chard leaves , stems removed and cut into 1" strips
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs . russet potatoes , thinly sliced, (4 med. large potatoes)
- 10 oz . bacon
- 8 oz . Swiss cheese , grated
- 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
- 2 tbsp butter
- Add olive oil, garlic and Swiss chard to large skillet on medium heat and wilt chard, (2 mins)
- Place bacon slices on 3 or 4 layers of paper towels on a microwave safe platter, cover with additional layers of paper towels, microwave for 4 mins. to slightly cook the bacon and render some of the fat.
- Let the bacon cool slightly, then chop into bite sized pieces.
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Lightly oil an 8 by 8 casserole dish.
- Place a layer of potato slices in the dish, lightly salt and pepper, then add 1/3 of the bacon, 1/3 of the chard, and 1/3 of the cheese.
- Repeat 2 more layers of ingredients.
- Pour in the chicken broth, then top with thinly sliced butter, (the butter is optional).
- Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes until the cheese starts to brown and the potatoes are fork tender.
- Serve hot