Potato Dauphinoise

I’d find it difficult to completely cut carbohydrates from my diet and my own personal philosophy in life is a little bit of everything (that you’re not severely allergic to) can’t do you any harm.  I find it sad that so many people profess to be allergic or intolerant to so many foods when really they just don’t know for sure and are just guessing at what is upsetting their digestion.  I can speak from experience here as I was advised that I was wheat intolerant for over 5 years, removed it from my diet completely, but still suffered.  Only upon proper medical food allergy testing did they actually find out that my demon food was to be egg white, and on cutting that out of my diet, my life and health improved significantly.  But I digress, this is about a recipe not me on a soapbox, so here it is…

Serves 4

Little knob of butter to grease your dish
200ml Double cream
250ml Milk
2.5ml Nutmeg, freshly grated
1 Garlic clove, peeled and flattened (not crushed)
4 Large potatoes
100g Gruyere or Cheddar cheese, grated

1. Heat the oven to 190℃.
2. Butter the inside of a 20cm deep square dish.
3. Add the cream, milk, nutmeg and garlic clove into a large saucepan until boiling.
4. Meanwhile peel the potatoes, and using a mandolin (I thoroughly recommend the Oxo Good Grips Hand Held Mandoline), slice into 3-4mm thicknesses.
5. Reduce the heat under the cream and milk to a simmer and add the sliced potatoes.
6. Simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, gently stirring occasionally to prevent the slices sticking together or catching on the bottom of the pan.
7. Remove the potato slices with a slotted spoon to the buttered dish to create a relatively level surface covering the whole of the dish.
8. Remove and discard the crushed garlic clove.
9. Pour the milk and cream mixture over the potatoes.
10. Sprinkle with cheese.
11. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown on top and the potatoes are cooked.
12. Serve sliced into portions.

A wonderful, creamy and rich vegetable dish to serve with so many meals.  If you’re watching you calories, then reduce the cream and replace this with milk, but be prepared to lose some of the taste if you do!

Serve this with my Fillet Steak in a Worcestershire Cream Sauce recipe for a decadent meal.

Chicken and Leek Stroganoff

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I’ve previously reviewed Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food book that I bought for my husband.  There are several recipes in there that have become firm family favourites and that my husband often cooks for us; this recipe being one of them as it’s quick, tasty and very easy to prepare. Leeks give a wonderful flavour to a meal – coming from the Allium family which includes the onion and garlic, their flavour is much more subtle and delicate.

This recipe is based on Jamie’s from his book.

2 Large leeks
4 Chicken breasts
2tbs Olive oil
20g Butter
250ml White wine (if it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with)
100ml Water
15ml Wholegrain mustard
300g Basmati Rice
Bunch fresh, flat leaved parsley
300ml Single cream
1/2 Lemon
Salt & pepper

1. Put a large pan of lightly salted water on to boil.
2. Wash your leeks then cut them lengthways into quarters, from top to bottom, then slice across the stems (whites and greens) into 1cm thicknesses.

3. Cut the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, approx. 1cm x 2cm .
4. Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil and butter.  Heat until melted.
5. Add the leeks, wine, water, mustard, salt and pepper.
6. Stir together then bring to the boil and cover loosely with a lid or foil.
7. Put your rice in your boiling water, stir once and return to the boil.  Simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes (according to packet instructions).
8. Chop the parsley, leaves and stalks, finely.
9. Add the chicken, parsley and the cream to the frying pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

10. Drain the cooked rice.
11. Add the juice of your lemon half to the stroganoff and stir just before serving.
12. Place a pile of rice on your plate and add a generous couple of spoons of the stroganoff.

Serve with a perfectly chilled glass of the white wine that you used to cook this dish with.

Chicken a la King

An old recipe I copied down from a magazine in the late 1980’s when I first got married was for the very ‘exotic’ Chicken a la King.  We thought we were so sophisticated when we sat down to our meal in our first house and it’s something we’ve enjoyed eating every so often since then.  My apologies for not being able to give credit to the original recipe writer, but it’s been with me for over 25 years on a scrappy piece of paper.  I’ve changed it slightly as I really don’t like mushrooms, so they’re no longer in my own version of this recipe, but please feel free to ‘add the fungus’ if you so wish!

4 Chicken breasts, skinned
40g Butter
10ml Oil
1 Onion, diced
100g Mushroom, sliced (not on my plate!)
2tbs Cornflour
60ml cold Water
20ml Tomato purée
Black Pepper to taste
250ml Chicken stock
1tsp dried Basil
2 Tomatoes, skinned & sliced
150ml Single cream
1/2 Green Pepper, sliced
1/2 Red Pepper, sliced

1. Heat the oven to 180C.
2. Heat the butter & oil in a frying pan.
3. Fry the chicken on both sides until golden.
4. Remove the chicken breasts to a casserole dish and set to one side.
5. Fry the onions and mushrooms (if using) until softened, but not coloured.
6. Mix the cornflour and water together until smooth.
7. To the pan, add the tomato purée, black pepper, stock and cornflour/water and bring to the boil, continuously stirring until thickened, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
8. Add the basil, sliced tomatoes, cream and sliced peppers and stir through.
9. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts and cover with the lid.

10. Place your casserole dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

 Serve with roasted potato and sweet potato wedges with broccoli and cauliflower.

I’m entering this ‘old favourite’ in to the Community Cooks Competition with the Central Co-Op.

I received a gift voucher from the Central Co-Op with which to purchase ingredients for my competition entry. 

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Stroganoff

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2tbs Oil

3 Chicken breasts, cubed
1 Clove garlic, crushed
1 Red Pepper sliced
½ Yellow Pepper, sliced
1 Red onion, diced
1tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning
¼ Knorr Mixed Chillies Flavour Pot (or to taste)
6 Cherry tomatoes, quartered
150ml Single cream
25ml Boiling water
Chopped basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley, to serve
Smoked Paprika, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.
2. Add the chicken pieces and fry until golden on all sides.
3. Add the garlic, peppers, onion, Jamaican jerk seasoning, ¼ Knorr Flavour Pot and cook until the onion is transparent.
4. Add the cherry tomatoes, cream, boiling water and chopped basil.
5. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 15 minutes until cooked through.
6. Taste the sauce and season according to your personal taste.
7. Serve with tagliatelle or spaghetti and sprinkle with chopped parsley and a dusting of smoked paprika.
I only added ¼ of the Knorr Mixed Chillies Flavour Pot as I don’t like really hot and spicy foods, and this provided more than enough heat for me. These Flavour Pots are potent and I would recommend adding less than you think you need and adjusting as necessary with more if it’s not hot enough.