My current motivation for cooking tends to be based on what is left in the fridge or larder before my latest food order and delivery, due to the continuing lockdown.
This is all doing wonders for my food waste, which is something I wasn’t proud of to be honest, and now I will make a soup with those veg just going a little soft, instead of throwing them away.
It’s amazing that when a bit of effort and thought is needed when sourcing and buying food, you start thinking more about what you have and how to use it.
That has to be a plus to come out of these uncertain times.
So when I checked what I had left in the cupboard before my latest order and found some potatoes and a few onions, I knew exactly what I was going to make.
Potatoes Boulangère is one of my favourite vegetable dishes, and having only 3 basic ingredients - potatoes, onions and stock - one of the easiest to make.
And healthy to boot, with a little butter totally optional.
The key to a successful Potatoes Boulangère is the thinness of the potato slices.
If you have great knife skills (and a sharp knife), this shouldn’t be a problem, but an even better, quicker option is to use a mandolin.
But I realise not everyone has one, so take your time with a sharp knife, and be careful!
This really is a good recipe in its own right, regardless of lockdowns, and would be the perfect side dish for a dinner with friends when all this is over.
INGREDIENTS serves 4
1kg Potatoes (eg Maris Piper) 2 large onions 300ml chicken or vegetable stock (a little oil or butter to grease the dish)
Peel and thinly slice the onions and potatoes.
Brush the base of a baking dish (I used a 30cm x 20cm dish, but a 20cm square one would do) with a little olive oil or butter.
Starting with the onions, cover the base followed by a layer of potatoes. Season lightly.
Continue doing this until all the onions and potatoes are used, finishing with a layer of potatoes on top, lightly seasoning each layer.
Press to squash everything down and pour over the stock.
Tightly cover with kitchen foil and bake in a 180℃/160℃ fan for about an hour.
Remove the foil and test to see if the potato slices are almost done. I like to brush the top layer with a little melted butter at this stage, which is purely optional, to achieve a lovely golden colour which also tastes fantastic!
Bake for another 30 minutes (without the foil) until the potatoes are just catching at the edges and are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly for 10 minutes, then cut into squares, or rounds and serve.
It goes well with any meat or fish as a side dish, or sprinkle some grated Gruyere cheese over for the last 15 minutes for a nice veggie lunch.