Monday 19 November 2012


Here we are again, another Monday.  So regular, so reliable!  Mondays are quiet for my class at the moment.  We start off with violin lesson, then we move onto diary writing, then maths.  Oh, and there's phonics there too.  In the afternoon it is swimming and about one third of the class go off for their lesson leaving me with a smaller group.  Now, if it was Friday we could have a grand finishing off session but it isn't, it's Monday and anyway they're a lovely class and rarely have much finishing off to do.  Today we still have firework pictures to finish and a few bits and bobs to get done.  Oh, and the inevitable phonics, of course.

Given that I've already blogged about the weekend, here's the recipe for the dauphinoise potatoes cooked yesterday.  I'm afraid I don't have amounts, just ingredients and instinct! (and greed)  It's not one to do often, it's hardly healthy but it's delicious

You need a baking tray about 26x18x3 cm (ish) to make enough for six (or four with seconds and maybe thirds).

You also need:
potatoes - floury or waxy, to taste, the effect is different but both are delicious
a small onion chopped very fine
some butter
some grated Parmesan or veggie equivalent
half and half double cream and full fat milk
garlic clove
salt, pepper, mixed herbs, freshly grated nutmeg

Put the milk, cream, peeled garlic clove and herbs into a saucepan and heat until just under boiling.
Peel the potatoes and slice to about the thickness of a £1 coin.  A very sharp knife really helps here.
Line the baking tray with some parchment, scrunched up and hold under a running tap.  Open out, shake off the excess water and push into the tray.  Cut off any bits sticking too far up.

Using half the sliced potatoes, spread in the bottom of the baking tray as evenly as possible.  You could overlap them carefully, I didn't bother.
Add some salt and pepper and sprinkle over some cheese.  Dot over some little bits of butter.
Add the rest of the potato, spreading out evenly.  Salt and pepper again.
Ladle over the hot milk/cream mixture (discarding the garlic clove) until it is just about to the top of the potatoes.  Press down on the potatoes with your hand to settle them in the cream.  If, at this point, you find you don't have enough, just sloosh on some cold cream.  I did!
Finally, sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan cheese and give the whole thing a good grating of nutmeg.
Place the baking tray on a baking sheet (in case of spills) and put in an oven heated to around 160C or thereabouts.

Cook for at least 90 minutes and then check the centre with a skewer.  Give it a little longer if necessary and you may need to increase the heat to brown the top more.

Serve while still piping hot.  It also heats up nicely the next day.

Unlike the slow cooked lamb, this *is* something that can be cooked just for one, if you want the preparation for such a small amount.  I suppose you could get away with more milk and less cream, or using single cream instead of double.  You could change the cheese - a good strong cheddar would be less subtle but would work.  Or you could place some thinly sliced rings of leek in-between the two potato layers.  The possibilities are endless once you start thinking around it.

For me, like the lamb, this is definitely something to cook again because it is basically so easy and so delicious.

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