Cheesy Mushroom and Green Pepper Guratan

“Cheezu!” for a country that refers to cheese every time they snap a photo, their selection in the supermarket is poor and unreasonably expensive.  Japan has top-notch cuisine (could be biased but we think most people would agree) but they lack one important existence, which is cheese.  They redeem themselves by  frying cheese balls at conveyor belt sushi restaurants, sticking cheese on a stick at yakitori restaurants, and one dish you will find even at family restaurants is guratan, which is also known as au gratin in the English language.  Originally from France, and the most commonly known is the potatoes gratin, but the Japanese have modified it and added their all-time favorite rice to give it’s popularity.  The rice is usually layered with white sauce and cheese, and the main ingredients can vary; the most Japanesey one I’ve ever had is the Curry Guratan, which is a great way to recycle left-over curry.  It’s so easy cheesy Japanesey!

Tip: If you make a lot of rice then plastic wrap them and freeze them in bundles.

1/2 onion
1 cup trumpet mushrooms
1 green pepper2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp ketchup
Dash of Sriracha Sauce
2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese
4 Tbsp parmesan cheese (or add more or less until it covers the top layer)
3 cups of short grain brown rice (make more and freeze to save)

White Sauce:
2 Tbs of butter
2 Tbs of flour
1/2 salt
1 cup milk

To make White Sauce:
1.  In small heavy saucepan melt 2 Tbs butter over low heat.
2.  Place 2 Tbs of flour into melted butter.
3 . Add salt.
4.  Slowly add milk and stir constantly.
5.  Continue cooking slowly on low heat until smooth and thickened.

Guratan:
1.  Dice onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and garlic.
2.  Stir fry the onions until translucent. Add the garlic, green peppers, and mushrooms.  Stir until they are cooked.
3.  Add rice.
4.  Add ketchup and sriracha sauce.
5.  Place rice mix into a shallow dish.
6. Pour white sauce over the rice.
7. Pour cheese over the white sauce so every surface is covered.
8.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
9.  Bake the Guratan in the oven at 400º F for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

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