Posted in Cheese, French, Potato Dishes, Side dishes, Vegetarian

Cheesy Potato Gratin Bake

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It is no secret that I love cheese, and dishes with potato and cheese are my favourite.  I recently found fresh parmesan cheese in a local supermarket (A101) at a really cheap price, which is generally unheard of here in Turkey.  This recipe includes step by step photos of how I prepared it.  Serves 2 – 4 people depending on portion size.

Ingredients

9 – 10 baby potatoes (in their skins)

Some slices of green and red pepper to decorate

A little grated parmesan to sprinkle over the top

Bowl of ice water (enough to cool potatoes)

Ingredients for the Cheese Sauce (Béchamel Sauce)

40 g butter

2 heaped tbsps flour

500 ml milk

2 tsps chopped chives

A handful of grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper (as required)

Method

Clean and place the baby potatoes in a large pan of boiling water and simmer for around 15-20 minutes.  Remove from the pan and place into the ice water, this helps the skins to peel off easily. Set aside while making the cheese sauce.

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Method for cheese sauce

Place the butter in a saucepan over a low heat.  Once melted, stir in the flour allowing it to bubble.

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Next you add the milk, a little at a time while continuously stirring (if you add all at once you risk the sauce becoming lumpy).

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Add the chives, then over a medium heat bring to a boil stirring slowly until it thickens.  Turn off the heat and add the handful of cheese then salt and pepper to required taste.

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Remove the skins from the potatoes using a flat edged knife, then slice and place to cover the bottom of an oven proof dish (which has had a little olive oil rubbed over to avoid sticking).  You do not need to pack tightly.

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Once you have one layer, gently spoon over some of the cheese sauce.

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Then repeat with another layer.  Potato and cheese sauce.  You should end up with about three layers.  Finally, de-seed and decorate with some red and green peppers, sprinkle a little parmesan cheese over the top, and bake in the oven at about 180°c for around 35 – 40 minutes, or until top is golden.

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Serve immediately.

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Posted in British Cuisine, Cheese, Oven, Potato Dishes, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Vegetarian

Cheesy Potato Boat

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Jacket potatoes are an old favourite in most British homes. Traditionally they are baked in the oven for a couple of hours, then slit open and butter is added.  This cheesy boat has been prepared slightly differently, so if you are a cheese lover and have a creative streak then go ahead and give it a try.

Ingredients

A large baking potato (per person)

a knob of butter (about 1 tsp)

1-2 tbsps milk

1-2 handfuls of grated cheese (plus some for decorating)

Salt and pepper (as required)

Thyme and oregano

Tomato and cucumber slices (decoration)

Method

Wash and pat dry the baking potatoes.  Using either a fork or the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the potatoes on each side taking care not to make large cuts.  This is to allow the steam to be released as they cook.  Place in the oven on about 180°c for 2-3 hours, turning once halfway through.  The time really does depend on the size of the potatoes, but if a knife slips in easily then they should be done.

Once the potatoes are cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes to avoid burning your hands.

Using a knife with a sharp tip, run the knife down the centre of the potato on one side, lengthways.  Now make another smaller slit to form a cross.  Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut away the top potato skin to form an oval opening, resembling a boat deck.

Using a metal spoon, carefully dig out the soft potato into a large bowl, being careful not to break the skin. (Even if cooking more than one potato you can use the same bowl).  Add the butter and milk and mash until creamy.  If it seems a bit dry you can add a tiny bit more milk. Salt and pepper according to your preferences then add the grated cheese.  You can add less cheese if on a diet, or more if like me you just love cheese.  Mix the cheese and potato together until well combined.**

Spoon the potato mixture back into the skin, pressing down to compact it.  Decorate the tops of the potatoes with the last of the grated cheese and sprinkle some thyme and oregano.

Using wooden kebab skewers or even toothpicks, push slices of cucumber and tomato on them to look like sails then press down into the potatoes.  Return to the oven for around 5-10 minutes, until cheese starts to bubble, or even place under the grill (be careful not to burn them).

Serve hot.

Suggestions

Goes well with coleslaw, and is quite tasty along side Chilli Con Carne… or just eat with a lovely crisp salad.  You can find the recipes for these on my blog.

**You can also add a variety of Ham or pepperoni in with the mix before re-stuffing the potatoes.

 

Posted in American Cuisine, Beef Dishes, British Cuisine, Casseroles, Potato Dishes, Uncategorized

Beef Stew (second variety)

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Ingredients

450 g (1/2 kilo) diced beef

1 tbsp olive oil

2 beef stock cubes (I used oxo)

750 ml boiling water

2 tsp mixed herbs (I used rosemary/thyme and oregano)

2 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)

3 carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 leeks (white part) cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tsps cornstarch

2 tsps cold water

2 tbsp gravy granules

Method

Brown off the beef in the oil for 4-5 minutes or until brown.

Put the beef into a stew pot (I am using a deep terracotta pot).  Mix the stock cubes with the hot water and pour over the beef. Add the herbs then cover and cook at  about 180 c in the oven for about an hour.

Stir potatoes, carrots and leek into the pot.

Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tsps of cold water and stir into the stew.

Cover and simmer 1 hour more.

Mix the gravy granules in a bowl with some of the juice from the stew then re add to stew and cook a further 20-30 minutes.

 

Posted in Italian Cuisine, Potato Dishes

Cheesy Wedged Potatoes

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A nice side dish for most meals or even just to accompany a salad.  The quantities are a bit vague as it depends on the size of the potatoes and how many people you are cooking for.

Ingredients

Several potatoes (I used small new potatoes)

Garlic butter

2 garlic cloves

2 slices of bacon (fried and cut in small pieces)

A handful of grated cheese (of your choice)

Method

Wash potatoes then thinly slice about ¾ of the way through (don’t slice completely through or they won’t remain in one piece).

Place in an oven proof dish or roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake until tender (changes depending on size).  Every now and then you can spoon some of the olive oil over them.

Once cooked push small amounts of garlic butter between the slices, (You can use normal butter if you don’t like garlic).  Place pieces of the fried bacon between some of the slices.   Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and remaining bacon pieces and grill until browned and cheese has melted.  Serve immediately.

Suggestion

Also lovely with a dressing drizzled over, such as blue cheese salad dressing.