Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Dauphinoise potatoes

Takes a bit of preparation but great for a dinner party since you can prepare it in advance and then just put in the oven on the night.

Start with about 900g of King Edward or desiree potatoes. Peel and then slice thinly. Wash them in cold water and then pat dry with a clean tea towel.

Get a baking dish and arrange a layer of potatoes. Season with some crushed garlic and salt and pepper and repeat. When you have finished with the potatoes you need to mix together 200ml of double cream and 200ml milk and pour over the potatoes.

Grate over some fresh nutmeg and season. Then dot with some butter.

Bake at about 160 degrees for 1.5-2 hours until it is bubbly and crisp on the top but soft underneath.

Beef bourguignon

Very simple but great even for a dinner party.

Get a good cut of beef from the butcher diced into pieces. I got just over a kilo for 6 and there was a bit left over. Fry this in fat (I used some turkey fat that I had skimmed from a roast but goose would also be good). Put this in the slow cooker.

In the same pan add some more fat and fry 100g chopped up streaky bacon, 250g chopped shallots, 250g sliced chestnut mushrooms and 2 chopped cloves of garlic. Add in some bay leaves (fresh if possible).

Add a couple of tbsps of tomato puree and tip all this into the slow cooker.

Add a whole bottle of GOOD red wine. Burgundy or Bordeaux works well. Cook or about 8 hours on slow and then allow to cool and keep in the fridge overnight.

Then reheat in the slow cooker for about 4 hours before you want to eat it. Works well with dauphinoise potatoes and green beans, red cabbage and carrots.

Microwave brandy fudge

Very quick and very simple - great for coffee or as a present.

Put 400g sugar, 140g butter and a can of condensed milk in a large microwaveable bowl with a pinch of salt. Microwave for about 15 minutes but check every few minutes since it can really puff up and oversplill. Stir when you check it.

When it has thickened and gone a nice caramel colour it is ready. Stir in a tsp of vanilla extract and 1-2 tbsp of brandy (or alcohol of choice- or you can leave this out). Pour into a 20cm square lined tin and allow to cool and set and then cut into pieces.