|potato, onion and blue cheese bake|
(Life, the Universe and Everything - 1982)
No, potatoes won't solve major problems, but add a whole load of cheese and a few breadcrumbs; you can curl around a steaming bowl of melting cheese and floury spuds and forget about the icy blizzard outside.
I've posted a baked cheese and potato dish before (one of Nigel Slater's fabulous comfort dishes) and this is merely a variation that came about because the cupboards were bare and I couldn't be bothered to venture out into the snow for supplies. Fortunately I had a few large King Edward potatoes, a little Shropshire Blue cheese, a dog-end of Parmesan and a whole load of breadcrumbs. With some red chard from the garden, which has survived the winter chill, I had the perfect meal to banish the winter blues.
Skill level: Easy
500g floury potatoes (I used King Edwards), peeled and cut into chunks
1 x English onion, finely chopped
1 x garlic clove, very finely chopped
butter for greasing
100g blue cheese, crumbled (I used Shropshire Blue but Stilton would be good too)
1 tbsp grated Parmesan or Pecorino
1-2 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Peel the potatoes. Add the potatoes to a large saucepan of salted water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. (I place the peelings in a sieve, which is balanced over the pan, so that as the water simmers, it bubbles up through the peelings. I believe this infuses the potatoes with some of the lovely earthy flavours from the skins.) Drain and cut into smaller (bite size) pieces if they are particularly large.
- As the potatoes are cooking, heat a little olive oil in another saucepan. Tip in the diced onions and fry over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until softened and translucent. Stir occasionally. Add the garlic about 8 minutes in and stir to make sure it is well combined.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4
- Lightly butter an ovenproof dish.
- Tip in the potatoes, and then add the onion and garlic mixture, including any of the oil. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine. It really doesn't matter if the potatoes break up a little.
- Add the crumbled blue cheese and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle over the grated Parmesan and the breadcrumbs.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the top is lightly browned.
- I served this with buttered red chard.