Gratin of Winter Squash
By Chef Julia Child

Ingredients 

1 1/2 pounds Winter Squash Sampler cut into 3/4 inch dice (4 - 5 cups) 
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Root grated 
1 clove Organic Garlic minced (large clove) 
2 cups White Sauce (See Recipe Below) 
3 tablespoons White Bread Crumbs 
3 tablespoons Swiss Cheese grated Classic White Sauce 
2 1/2 tablespoons Butter 
3 1/2 tablespoons Flour 
2 cups Hot Milk 
1/2 teaspoon Salt and Pepper (use White Pepper) 

Directions 

Place the diced squash in a steaming basket with the ginger and garlic. 

Cover and steam over 1 inch of water for about 10 minutes, until almost tender. Remove the steamer. 

Boil down the steaming liquid to 1/4 cup; whisk into the white sauce. 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Fold the squash into the white sauce, and turn into a buttered baking dish. 

Spread on the crumbs and cheese. 

Bake in the middle level of the oven for 1 1/2 hours; the top should be nicely and lightly browned, and the sauce almost completely absorbed. Serve hot. 

Classic White Sauce: 

Melt the butter in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan, then blend in the flour with a wooden spoon to make a smooth somewhat loose paste. 

Stir over moderate heat until the butter and flour foam together for 2 minutes without coloring more than a buttery yellow. 

Remove from heat. When the bubbling stops, in a few seconds, pour in all but 1/2 cup of the hot milk at once, whisking vigorously to blend thoroughly. 

Then whisk rather slowly over moderately high heat, reaching all over the bottom and sides of the pan, until the sauce comes to the simmer; simmer 2-3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon and thinning out the sauce as necessary with dribbles of the milk. 

The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon nicely. 

Whisk in the salt and white pepper, tasting very carefully and adding more as needed. 

Helpful Hints from Julia: 

For a lighter sauce use skim milk.

First Aid for Lumpy Sauce: 

Push it through a fine-meshed sieve, then whirl it in an electric blender, and then whisk while simmering over heat until smooth.