Gorgeous Garlic Potatoes

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Another simple and easy side dish that works well with stews, casseroles and roasts.

Ingredients

Serves up to 6

1 onion, peeled, sliced and chopped

4 large baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled, chopped and crushed

300ml of vegetable stock

25g of extra mature cheddar cheese, grated

a tiny curl of butter

Salt and pepper

Method

Dawn: This makes a nice alternative potato dish to accompany a traditional Sunday roast.

Andrew: Yes, there are many varieties of potatoes and all are so versatile when cooking.

Dawn: There is that old saying: “Variety is the spice of life”! And our food needs to be varied to provide us with all the nutrition our bodies demand. That’s an excellent point, Andrew. There are over 80 varieties in the UK that are grown commercially and being from the carbohydrate family, provide a valuable source of energy which our bodies need. 

  • Put the butter in a large frying pan and melt; then, add the onion and garlic cooking for a few minutes until softened. Set aside in a dish.
  • Next, place the potatoes in the frying pan using the juices from the onion. Layer the potatoes. As you do this, add a little of the softened onion and garlic to each layer, evenly scattering the mixture upon each layer.
  • Pour over the vegetable stock over the potatoes making sure all have been covered with the stock.

Andrew: Can I use a creamy white sauce instead? 

Dawn: Yes, that would make a delicious alternative to this healthier version. 

Andrew: In fact, a super quick version of this dish could be made using a tin of chicken soup rather than vegetable stock. 

  • Add the grated cheese to the top of the dish. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover the ovenproof dish with kitchen foil.
  • Place in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 6, 200°C electric for 1 hour. Then, remove the kitchen foil and cook for a further 20-30 minutes while the top browns. Test to see if the potatoes are cooked by sticking a fork into them and if tender, they’re cooked.

Andrew: Mmm…certainly smells lovely!

Dawn: And tastes divine!

For more of the Cooking Duo’s easy, tasty and inexpensive recipes and cooking tips, follow this blog and Twitter account @Love_Food_UK

Prunes and Apple Stuffed Pork

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A hearty Winter warmer and an all-round family favourite – which virtually cooks itself!

Andrew: Another of my kind of recipes!!! One for the lazy cooks!!!

Ingredients

Serves upto 6

1kg (1000g) joint of pork

14 dried prunes, chopped small

1 eating apple, grated

Salt and pepper

Method

  • With a sharp knife, cut along the pork joint to reveal its inside.

Dawn: I’m using an inexpensive cut of pork here, the shoulder and it cooks well with the stuffing adding to its flavouring. 

  • In a small bowl, mix together the chopped prunes and shredded apple.
  • Place this stuffing mixture along the pork’s cut length and pull the pork sides together, securing along its length with intermittent pieces of string tied together to keep the stuffing in place.
  • Season with salt and pepper the skin.

Andrew: Mmm…crackling! 

Dawn: That’s the idea, Andrew. 

Andrew: The crackling was my granddad’s favourite.

  • Wrap the pork in cooking foil and place in an ovenproof dish. Place in a pre-heated over at gas mark 6, 200 degrees centigrade electric for 30 mins and then turn the heat down to gas mark 3, 160 degrees centigrade electric for 2 to 3 hours.

Dawn: I like meat that’s tender so I always go on regularly checking it with a fork during its cooking to see how tender it’s becoming. 

Andrew: Again, personal preference? 

Dawn: Absolutely, Andrew. Guidelines suggest 35 minutes per pound in weight (450g) plus 35 minutes thereafter. I think it’s down to how you personally prefer your meat cooked. 

  • Keep checking the pork to see if it’s cooked by sticking a fork into it at periodic times. When it’s soft, it’s cooked.
  • Remove the cooking foil to expose the pork for the last 30-45 minutes of cooking to enable the skin to crackle and go crisp.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes prior to craving.

Andrew: Oh, crackling! Yum! And for more ‘cracking’ – get it? – great, easy and inexpensive dishes, follow our blog here and our Twitter account @Love_Food_UK

Dawn: Our Roast Root Ribbons go nicely with this, cooked in the succulent juices of the pork along with some green vegetables and a nice dollop of mashed potato, too. Mmm…my mouth is watering!

Roast Root Ribbons

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An easy side dish to accompany a nice Sunday roast, this takes minutes to prepare and once popped in the oven, you can get on and do what you need to do as it’s virtually self-cooking.

Andrew: I like dishes like this!

Ingredients

Services 4

8 large carrots

8 large parsnips

2 tsp of cooking oil

salt and pepper for seasoning

Method

  • Peel and slice the carrots and parsnips into long ribbons.
  • Place in a saucepan of boiling water and partially boil for 5-10 minutes. 

Dawn: The partial cooking via boiling is optional and you can simply put the root veg into a large, ovenproof dish if you’re short on time.

Andrew: That’s usually what I do.

  • While the vegetables are partially cooking on the hob, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 200 degrees centigrade electric and place an ovenproof dish with the cooking oil in, in it.

Dawn: I’m using the cooking juices from a tasty joint here to add an extra “umph” to the vegetables taste.

  • Next, drain the vegetables of the boiling water and place in the cooking fat.

Andrew: Can I add garlic halves?

Dawn: You can add any root vegetables you may have in, Andrew. You’re only limited by your own imagination. I have a lovely baked onion recipe that I’ll share later in our side dishes section, too.

  • Cook until the vegetables start to look ‘caramelised’ and crisp in appearance.
  • Turn the vegetables occasionally so the whole of the root becomes golden in appearance.
  • Serve hot, seasoned to personal preference.

Andrew: Is this really down to personal taste, Dawn?

Dawn: No pun intended! Yes, Andrew. I tend to leave them for about 45 to 60 minutes because I really enjoy the ‘caramelised’ taste. Very yummy!

Andrew: Easy peasey, lemon squeezy!

Dawn: Indeedy! And speaking of which, you can decide to add a little splash of lemon juice to the cooking oil if you fancy a zing to the finished cooked taste. 

Andrew: And don’t forget to follow our blog and Twitter account @Love_Food_UK to stay tuned for more easy, quick and inexpensive recipes!

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