Mr Potato, Baked
The humble potato dresses up very well. Initially I thought I would make mash potato, but the weather called for a warm potato bake. One of the challenges I've always had with making potato bakes was even cooking without burning it. So, I decided to bake the potatoes first until they are cooked but firm before adding the white sauce. After peeling and washing the potatoes, I slice them into not so thin slices, anything between 3-5mm works well. I bathe the slices in a flavour oil bath of rosemary, salt, pepper and parsley. Place in an oven dish, I prefer one where the potatoes can fit with the slices upright and a few slices flat on the dish.
- 4 fresh medium potatoes
- A sprig of fresh rosemary
- A tablespoon of salt
- A tablespoon of dried parsley
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the white sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Dash white pepper
- A clove of fresh garlic
- Quarter medium brown onion
- 1 cup milk
- A handful (half a cup) of grated Gouda cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- Combine oil, parsley, salt, rosemary and coat the potato slices.
- Place in the baking dish, add about 2 to 3 tablespoons of water - this helps create moisture so the potatoes don't dry up.
- Cover with foil and bake for about 40 mins.
- While the potatoes are in the oven, prepare the sauce by combining the garlic, mustard powder and brown onion using a handheld blender to create a paste.
- In a saucepan heat the butter until melted, throw in the onion garlic paste and quick fry. Careful not to burn it, you just want a sizzle.
- Add the flour while stirring using a whisk until smooth.
- Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil; add the cheese, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Take out the potatoes from the oven, add the sauce and return to the oven and bake for a further 10 mins until the sauce bubbles.
- I like to let it cool down a bit before serving, but you can serve it immediately.
Nutmeg is a little secret I never knew about; it gives an added little flavour to white sauce. I enjoy this with a side of steamed green beans and some deep fried cauliflower.