It’s time to put cheese and potatoes together again! Like a perfect partnership, both together and individually, these two items warm my heart and cure the constant carb, cheese craving I have. I’m limiting myself this time and only consuming a small plateful of what I rustle up this week. Yesterday we had John’s brother over for dinner as we do most Wednesdays now, and consumed a home-made lasagne between the three of us. It was a monster of a dinner with three layers of lasagne, Parmesan and Mozzarella but minus the Horse meat. Yum.
I have days where my food flame comes right back. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always fantasising about one dish or another and how I may photograph it, but I think the hint of Spring and Summer is sneaking around the corner and the new ingredients, recipes and photo opportunities excites me to the point where it’s all I think about. It’s starting to feel like this whole food world is in my blood, and there is no going back. WordPress kindly reminded me that I have now been blogging for a year, a whole year! And I still look forward taking even more time over making food, photographing it, and giving you a post to read.
To make things even better, I got a mention from the man himself, Nigel Slater, who gave me a kind word about my blog. If this isn’t encouragement, then I don’t know what is! I tried to play it cool, but ended up on the phone to my mom in fits of giggles about this momentous occasion. So let’s do another one of his recipes shall we?
It’s buttery, sweet, herby, cheesy to the point where you have to put the rest of it in a place you can’t see it. If you’re anything like me anyway, I can’t restrain myself when it comes to cheese. I do it a little different from Nigel’s method and pop it in the oven for a bit as I like the top of the potatoes to crisp up a bit. You can have it as a small meal as I did, but I think it will go great with roast chicken and broad beans, or even a simple salad. Another simple recipe, another success!
I’m still having trouble trying to find Taleggio cheese or Fontina, a good substitute is Port Salut cheese.
100g semi soft cheese
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
500g waxy potatoes (again I just used normal baking potatoes)
2 tablespoons of Olive oil
A small handful of Thyme leaves
2 cloves of Garlic, sliced
Slightly adapted from Nigel Slater’s Real Food (1998)
Got that? Good! Now, slice the potatoes (pound coin thick), onion and garlic. Heat slowly together the butter and oil in a shallow pan. When the butter and oil has melted, fry the onion until softened, then add the potatoes. Season with salt & pepper, add the garlic and the thyme. Make sure all the potatoes are covered well with the butter, oil, seasoning and thyme.
Turn the heat down low and place a lid or cover on top of the pan and gently cook for about forty minutes so the potatoes become tender and buttery, and stir occasionally. You will find the onions will become very soft and they caramelise a little in the pan, this makes gives such a lovely sweetness to the dish.
If you want the potatoes to crisp up a little, preheat the oven to 200C. After the forty minutes, slice the cheese up, tip the potatoes into a baking dish and slide the cheese between the layers of potato. Top with a little more pepper and thyme if you have any left.
Place in the oven for around 15-20 minutes.
Photograph it, tweet it, eat it listening to Radio 4, just don’t eat it all in one go. I like indulgence, but that’s too far! Enjoy!