Sunday, June 10, 2007

G is for Garlic Potato Bake


Nobody ever told me that vegetables could lead you to lie. But that is what I did all week, so that Chris wouldn't realise his kitchen was being turned into a garlic-factory. I took to hiding clumps of garlic in my bag, carrying it to and from work on the tube. I secretly researched garlic recipes and gossiped about the attraction of the stinking rose with colleagues. Even the children joined in with the deception.
I bought extra-minty toothpaste, introduced a rigorous routine of teeth-brushing and tongue scrubbing. I tried rubbing my hands on stainless steel spoons to take away the smell. (I can report that old wives tale didn't work.) When I cooked Garlic Potato Bake, the kitchen door and windows were kept open; all to keep 'He Who Hates Garlic' in the dark. Of course it didn't work. He came in the house like the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk,'Fee,Fi,Fo,Fum, sniffing out his vegetable enemy. Apparently its the sulphur compounds in garlic that make it so pungent. And there is no point trying to disguise them. Both of the children loved Garlic Potato Bake, but then again it would be hard not to. It is creamy and well, garlicky... Not surprisingly, Freddie gave this ten out of ten.

Garlic Potato Bake
1 tbsp olive oil
500g potatoes
150 ml single cream
100 ml milk
1 medium clove of garlic
Half a vegetable stock cube
40g grated freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Thinly and evenly slice the potatoes and place them in a pan of boiling water. Crumble half a vegetable stock cube into the water. Cook for about five minutes. They should not be too soft, just lightly cooked. Ladle out 50 ml of the liquid and put aside.
Carefully drain the potatoes so they don't break up. Allow to cool.
Lightly oil a shallow overproof dish. Arrange the potato slices overlapping each other around the dish till there are several layers.
In a small pan,on a low heat, simmer the cream and milk with the crushed garlic clove for a few minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir in the 50ml of cooking liquid from the potatoes.
Pour evenly over the potatoes, making sure it is distributed well. Then sprinkle the freshly grated parmesan on top. Put in the oven at 180C. Bake for 30 minutes.

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