University is over, results have been received and summer is here. For the past few weeks pretty much everything has been up in the air – even the weather hasn’t been sure of itself. However, today it is 30C outside and the weather isn’t set to change for a number of days, by which time I’ll be in the perpetually sunny Madrid. Even if I don’t know what I’m doing with the rest of my life quite yet I know I’m having a barbecue this afternoon, and that’s all the stability I need at the moment. Words cannot describe just how much I’m anticipating my first barbecue of the year – there is nothing quite like a homemade burger in a homemade wrap – which I have literally just finished preparing. I’m looking forward to taking some lovely photos which I’ll share tomorrow.
This recipe comes to frugalfeeding by request of a university friend. I’d actually wanted to make it, and indeed try it, for quite a long time, and this request really prompted me to do so. It is also rather interesting to cook dishes like this because they’re generally considered to be fairly decadent and indulgent. Meaning that I always enjoy bringing such dishes to a blog of this sort, because it really highlights the fact that certain food, about which we have misconceptions, can be cooked well for a relatively small amount of money. I must also highlight that this is a healthy version of this classic dish, if you want to make it more traditional – and a hell of a lot more unhealthy – feel free to use double cream in equal quantities, substituting it for the milk and crème fraîche.
Potatoes Gratin Dauphinoise with Roasted Vegetables
• 400g potatoes, thinly sliced
• 70g crème fraîche
• 70ml semi-skimmed milk
• 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
• 30ml vegetable stock
• Fresh rosemary, dried will do
• 1 small onion, finely diced
• 30g mature cheddar cheese
• 1 pepper
• 12 mushrooms
• 2 large carrot
• Balsamic vinegar
1. Heat the oven to 180C. Put the milk, a few sprigs of rosemary, and onion, into a saucepan. Heat gently, bringing it to the boil before removing from the heat. Add a few shakes of nutmeg, some seasoning and set aside.
2. Slice the potatoes thinly and dry them carefully with clean tea towels, removing as much moisture from them as possible. Layer half of them in an oiled oven dish, overlap each potato with the next. Between each layer ad a few thin slices of garlic.
3. Strain the boiled milk mixture into a pouring jug. Whisk in the crème fraîche until smooth. Add the stock and some extra sprigs of rosemary, and pour half of it over the potatoes. Perform the same steps with the remaining potatoes and liquid. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Bake for roughly 80 minutes, or until cooked. You can check whether the potatoes are cooked by testing them using a sharp knife.
4. The only thing left to do is roast the vegetables. Chop these into fairly large chunks and put them in a pan. Cover them in a little oil and balsamic vinegar, season and pop them in the oven around an hour before the potatoes are ready.
Cost: The whole dish can be made for roughly £2.00, though if you’d rather serve it with a steak I’ll forgive you.