Sunday, 26 January 2014

Potato, cauliflower and cheddar bake

I really need to get out of my latest bad habit. This very self destructive pattern of behaviour, i.e. writing my blog posts in bed, is proving very unproductive. Mostly because I fall asleep within ten minutes of snuggling up in bed with my warm laptop. Even as I'm writing this, I'm struggling to keep my eyes open mid-Sunday afternoon. Which possibly explains to you why the contents of my posts are never really mindbogglingly intellectual. Eat and sleep seems to be pretty much all I do these days. And obviously struggle to get through the days at work, four more weeks to go and I'm so ready to give up on it all. Three month notice periods should be illegal.

Ok, I'm back, I did fall asleep for a full hour. This will mean there is no way I will be able to go to sleep on time tonight. 

Today's recipe is a side I made for the delicious apple and cider roasted chicken I wrote about earlier. This dish would work either as a vegetarian main or a side to something nice and meaty. It is rather decadent with all that cheddar. But we had a big chunk of leftover cheddar which was starting to look like it would try to make it's way out of the fridge on it's own unless I used it up rather soonish. The recipe is again from the great The English Kitchen blog, and I have used it pretty much unaltered, I just doubled it as I wanted to have plenty of leftovers to feed us during the week.

Potato, cauliflower and cheddar bake serves 4-6 as a side (from The English Kitchen):
4 large potaoes
1 small head of cauliflower
1 large or 2 medium onions
2 cups of cheddar (this was not doubled from the original recipe as I thought it was more than plenty)
2 tsp dried thyme
black pepper
150 ml chicken stock

The howto:
Peel and slice the potatoes and onions into 1/2 inch thick slices. Similarly, slice the cauliflower. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes generously with water and bring to a boil. Then add the cauliflower and onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, until potatoes start to soften. Discard water and let stand for about 10 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Transfer half of the potato, cauliflower and onion mixture into an ovenproof dish, sprinkle over the thyme, some black pepper and half of the cheese. Add the rest of the veg, thyme and some black pepper. Pour the chicken stock into the dish, and top with cheddar. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

The verdict:
This was a really nice side to go with the chicken. For me, it would have been enough as a main dish in itself, but I don't think it would have been quite substantial enough to keep the Culinary Consultant happy. But with all that cheese in there, it definitely isn't a light and healthy vegetarian choice. But boy did it taste good.

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