02 January 2007

Let's cook


I love cooking. It really is the chance to give something to others that is so wonderful. I also like knives; for a few moments I can wield Japanese steel like a Samurai, all be it a somewhat under-dressed one. I have a little collection of Global knifes. And they are pretty cheap if you buy them on-line here. Well, much cheaper than in the shops anyway.

My favourite dish is a cholesterol cacophony. You need 600 mls of thickened cream and at least half a kilo of cheese. Ideally, a mixture of gruyere and aged gouda. This is not really a gratin, so make up a name for it.

Use any type of casserole dish with a lid because you want to leave that on until it is nearly cooked. Fill it with layers of 2/3 sliced potato and 1/3 sweet potato and onion. The potatoes can be thickish. Make the onion slices thinner. As you are layering the ingredients, season them with cracked pepper, sea salt, mincing garlic and freshly grated nutmeg. Also place the grated gruyere and/or aged gouda throughout the layers. To finish the preparation pour the tubs of cream over the lot. It should just cover the ingredients. Bake at 180-200 C for over an hour, depending on the oven and the dish size. Remove the lid or covering when it is cooked through and sprinkle a bit more cheese on top and allow to brown if you like. It likes to rest for a while.

Tips:

Find a nice organic potato suitable for baking. Something like dutch cream or a variety with a red skin. Ask them in the shop.

Gruyere or Aged Gouda are expensive but they will add an imitable flavour. The more you use the richer the dish will be.

I like to use Russian Garlic in this dish for its milder quality.

Don't be too generous with the nutmeg as it is intense.

For a traditional gratin, use a shallow baking dish and layer ingredients, probably just potato and season with salt/pepper. Then cover with a sufficient quantity of the following mixture: 1 Cup milk, 1 Cup cream fraiche and 1 egg. You need enough to just cover so stick to those proportions. Bake uncovered for about an hour at 190 C.

Enjoy.

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