Tag Archives: thyme

Potatoes Dauphinoise

I love this dish.  It’s much more fiddly than simply steaming some potatoes it’s true but it’s such a delicious side dish that I think it’s well worth the effort.  I first had this only a year or two ago in France and it was the high point of possibly the best meal of my life.  I have to apologise for this being another recipe which really needs specialist bits and bobs but I’ve had the mandoline out and I’m in love with another kitchen gadget!  It’s magic, I was so impressed with how easy it made slicing everything up so thinly.   I may even have to try making my own crisps.  I’ve also made this dish with celeriac recently and I have to recommend that as an excellent way to eat it.  I hate celery with a passion, it’s one of the Five Foods of Doom that I will not eat, so I was a bit worried but celeriac dauphinoise was a delicious introduction to the vegetable and not celery-y at all.  The creamyness of this dish goes very well with beef, I’ve had it with steak, boeuf bourguignon and, tonight, roast beef. 

Roast beef with potatoes dauphinoise and vegetables

Serves 4 generously

approx 3 large potatoes (Use your head and cater for how big a dish you want to fill and how big your tatties are.)
300ml cream
50g butter
splash of milk
2 cloves garlic, very finely sliced (I used a mini mandoline, also very useful!)
2 tsp thyme leaves

– First peel your potatoes and slice finely, preferably with a mandoline if not be careful! 
– Heat the cream, butter and milk in a pan until piping hot but not boiling. 
– Grease an oven proof dish and pour in a shallow layer of cream. 
– Lay potato slices on top of this, scatter with a few garlic slices, sprinkle with a bit of thyme and season with salt and pepper. 
– Spoon more cream over this then another layer of potatoes on top, scatter with garlic and thyme, season and repeat until you reach the top of your dish or run out of potatoes.  (I try to keep back enough good slices to make the top layer aesthetically pleasing and bury the tatty bits in the middle.)
– If you have any cream left pour this on top.
– Cook in the oven at gas mark 7 for an hour, placing foil on top to prevent burning half way through. 
– Test with a sharp knife to see if it’s cooked through, there should be little to no resistance. 

Potatoes Dauphinoise

1 Comment

Filed under Moderately easy, Sides

Baked Butternut Squash with Cream

This was really the Pièce de résistance of the whole meal.  It is actually quite a simple dish but looks so impressive.  You could do this with any small squash that will stand up on its own (so Harlequin is out!) or you could do it with a larger kabocha as a main dish and serve it in bowls.  I think that the individual squash are much more impressive though.  When choosing your butternuts go for the smallest, best looking ones you can find and make sure they don’t fall over!  I had to go to 3 supermarkets to find the right size so forward planning is vital.  Luckily squash keep well so if you see them, snap them up!  I have much-loved gratin dishes but if you’re careful you could bake them in a larger dish then transfer to bowls to serve. 

Whole Baked Butternut Squash

Serves 3 (just increase the amount of cream to fill whatever you’re filling)

3 small butternut squash
500ml cream
100ml milk
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp thyme leaves
50g parmesan

– Heat the oven to gas mark 2. 
– Prepare the squash by slicing in half and scooping out the seeds.
– Place the squash in a baking dish. 
– Heat the cream, milk, garlic and thyme in a pan and season well.  Heat through until piping hot. 
– Pour into the prepared squash. 
– Put the lids back on and pour a splash of water into the bottom of the dish to stop it sticking. 
– Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.  Turn up to Gas mark 6 for the last 15 minutes.
– Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes before serving with fresh bread.  (These are very, very hot straight from the oven!)

The delicious insides!

For those wondering you eat it by scooping the flesh of the squash out into the cream.  You can then eat it with chunks or somehow mush it up to be orange soup as my mum did.  How she did it with a just spoon I’m unclear but she was happy!  Dipping warm bread rolls in it was sublime too!

An interesting variation would be to add some chopped chilli to the cream for a spicier alternative.

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy, Starters