Old Favourites Revisited & Revamped

Everyone has their favourite recipes that they return to time after time, and are always a pleasure to consume. Mine are generally simple meals which are easy to make and a joy to eat. Below you will find some of my old faithfuls, but with a slight difference to the usual. They can also all be adapted to be vegetarian, which will generally just involve removing bacon from the ingredients list. Here y'are food fans!

Potato Boulangere

I love this dish, in fact I had it the other day with the smoked salmon dinner seen at the bottom of this post. Traditionally, it's made with stock, but this time, I used some of my lovely leftover whey and it worked, giving a lovely creamy finish. Whey-hey!

Building lovely potato-y, onion-y layers
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 600g potato
  • 1 onion
  • 500ml whey (or chicken or vegetable stock)
  • 40g butter

  1. Preheat the oven to fairly hot, gas mark 6 does me nicely.
  2. Unless you're particularly talented with a knife, I suggest using a mandolin to thinly slice the potato, onion and garlic.
  3. Lay the butter in slices at the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Then alternately layer potato, onion and garlic, seasoning between each cycle. Repeat until all your spuds have been used up.
  4. Pour in your whey, making sure to cover the final layer of potato, top with a little water or stock if necessary, and then pop it in the oven for around an hour.
  5. Once cooked, let it rest and absorb some juicy juices for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Goes well with pretty much anything, and leaves brilliant leftovers for days after. Scrummy!


What to do with leftover horseradish cream and coriander? Make an omelette of course!

1/2 onion
1-2 rashers of bacon snipped into bite sized pieces
a few leftover potato thins from the Boulangere
a few chopped mushrooms
a handful of chopped coriander
a few slithers of gorgonzola
2 eggs
splash of water or milk

Cooking up some glory

Gorging on gorgonzola
  1. Pop a frying pan on a medium heat with a little oil or butter. Add the bacon and onion until crispy or softened, respectively. Remove and reserve.
  2. Fry off your potato thins until cooked to taste, then add in the mushrooms, cook for a minute or two, return the bacon and onion and add in the coriander.
  3. Whisk up your eggs and milk and add to the pan, cook for a couple of minutes and season before adding the gorgonzola.
  4. Cook until preferred omelette consistency is reached and top with the horseradish cream.

Coriander Pesto

So, I bought a load of coriander the other day without deciding what to do with it, a friend suggested coriander pesto and I liked the idea. Now, I didn't have any Parmesan and neither did my local Co-op and I wasn't prepared to travel any further at that point in the evening, so the following delicious pesto variation was born!

You can almost smell it

2 large handfuls of fresh coriander, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
50g almonds, lightly toasted
70g finely grated Edam
up to 125ml olive oil

Crusher, crusher, crusher, arm ache, crush some more..
  1. Throw the nuts, garlic and coriander into a sturdy mortar and smash it with a pestle until it's all lovely and broken down into tiny little pieces. Apparently this can all be done in a food processor too, but where's the fun and shoulder trauma in that?!
  2. Add your cheese and stir.
  3. Slowly pour in the oil into the mortar whilst mixing and gathering all the solid ingredients together until a preferred consistency is reached.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, provided it survives that long. Or check out the recipe below for a bloody brilliant dose of comfort food supported by this lovely biting pesto.

"Jamie Oliver" Pasta
I want it in me. Now.
When I was still young, living at home with my parents and eating "normal" pasta like it was going out of fashion, my mum used to make a Jamie Oliver dish which was my absolute favourite pasta creation ever. I would get excited if I knew it was on the menu and often requested "Jamie Oliver Pasta" (ha! You know that one pasta dish he does...), scarfing down plate after plate of it, hot or cold. It was a bit of an addiction. The original recipe is found in Jamie's Return of the Naked Chef, and can also be found here on the forum of his website. My adaptation happens to be just as frightfully good, you will not be disappointed. I was alone for dinner this night and probably ate around 3 people's dinner quotas, but if you tell anyone, I'll deny it.

Top tip: Make extra, it will never be enough! I only ate this a couple of days ago and I could go for several rounds again now and forever.

several rashers of smoked streaky bacon, pancetta or lardons
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 large cabbage, finely sliced
1 very large dollop of coriander pesto

enough gluten free pasta for twice as many people you're feeding
2 handfuls of pine nuts, lightly toasted
a ball, or a couple of handfuls of shredded mozzarella
salt and pepper
a fillet of salmon per person (optional)

Stir in that pesto!
Look at all that yummy pesto covered goodness...mmm...

  1. In a pan of salted boiling water, pop your pasta on to cook
  2. In a separate pan, fry off your bacon/pancetta/lardons until golden, add the garlic until softened. Throw in your cabbage and gently soften that too.
  3. Add a big dollop of pesto to your bacon and cabbage mix and stir until well covered. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. Heat some oil in a frying pan, (or pre-heat a medium grill), and cook your salmon skin side first until almost cooked, and then flip to fleshy for the last few seconds.
  5. Drain your pasta reserving a little pasta water, add the pasta and the reserved water to the pesto covered cabbage and bacon and stir until fully incorporated.
  6. Turn the pan on to a very low heat, add the pine nuts and mozzarella and stir quikly until the mozzarella goes all lovely and stringy.
  7. Season and serve and top with your salmon fillet.
  8. Eat. Then eat seconds. Then lick the pot clean. Then wonder why the pasta is always gone. Why, pasta, why?!

Monday means.... Homestead Barn Hop


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