Sunday, March 20, 2011

Don't forget potatoes

I love potatoes. I like them mashed; baked; boiled - pretty much however you choose to cook a potato, I'll like it. So it's really strange that I seldom cook them myself. I don't know why this is: potatoes just don't seem to come to mind when I'm thinking about what I'm going to cook. I always have some spuds in the cupboard, but quite often they'll go wrinkly and grow big long shoots on them before I think about using them.

The other day, I came across the recipe for scalloped potatoes (p162) which was a useful reminder that I had potatoes in the cupboard that needed to be used.

Scalloped potatoes is a pretty simple dish, as long as you allow time for it to cook. All you do is thinly slice your potatoes, chop an onion and grate some cheese. Then make a layer of potatoes in a casserole dish, sprinkle over some onion and cheese, season, and make another layer the same. Keep layering until you've used up all the potato, and finish with a layer of cheese.

The next instruction is something I almost overlooked: you're supposed to pour some milk over the top before you put the casserole dish in the oven. Forgetting this, I just bunged it in as was. Fortunately, I realised my mistake within a couple of minutes, rushed to the oven, pulled out the still-cold casserole and poured the milk over.

Since both the potatoes and onions are raw, this dish takes a while to cook. The recipe indicates 30 minutes covered, then another 10-15 minutes with the lid off. I would tend to leave it in slightly longer: my potatoes, while not raw, could have done with just a little more cooking.

The potatoes looked really good when I first pulled them out of the oven. I was a bit disappointed when I scooped out a serving and saw how much liquid there was in the dish - it was really quite watery-looking, and the milk had created an unpleasant curdling effect around the potatoes.

Despite these unappealing aspects, the potatoes tasted really good: warm, filling and nicely savoury from the cheese and onion. I'm not sure if the wateriness was the result of an error on my part, or whether they always come out like that. In any case, I wouldn't let this description put you off. Have a go at scalloped potatoes yourself, and see if yours come out any better than mine. Even if they don't, they'll taste better than they look!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular posts this week