Sunday, 6 August 2017

Broccoli Cheese Baked Potatoes and Roasted French Beans

I am in awe of food bloggers who take wonderful pictures of their recipes. I'm aware of the jiggery-pokery that often goes on behind food photography for cook books but food bloggers? How are you doing that? Don't you want to eat what you've made right away before it goes cold or sweaty or before the new Poldark starts?

Maybe I'm in the minority (and I certainly wouldn't call myself a food blogger) but most of my recipes come from a week night fumble through the cupboards to try to satisfy whatever savoury craving that day has brewed. I swan around the kitchen, rummage in the spice drawers and clatter through the crockery until dinner is ready, and then all I want to do is eat it. If it's something new (like this one) I'll grab my phone and snap a picture of it before it's carried to the table or my lap on the sofa thinking 'maybe I'll stick this on the blog'. Later, at my computer, I'll look through the photographs I took and cringe at the poor lighting and bad plating up. But then I remember: I REALLY wanted to eat it. I couldn't fiddle about with lamps and jauntily lay out a vignette to set the scene because I was hungry! And that's really what all of this is about: easy food that you'll want to cook and want to eat right now.

So here's the latest. Please accept the above two paragraphs as an apology for the following horrendous photograph: 

Broccoli and Cheese Baked Potatoes and Roasted French Beans

This is a simple recipe that barely counts as a recipe. It's perfect for an evening where you physically have the time but don't want to spend the whole time in the kitchen. 

For the broccoli and cheese baked potatoes you'll need:
One potato per person
Two florets of broccoli per person
Cheddar cheese (amount left to your discretion) - leave out to make it vegan, it absolutely still works
Tiny grating of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

For the roasted french beans you'll need:
French beans (or something similar)
Rapeseed oil
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper

See, it's easy already.

As soon as you get home from work, stab some potatoes, wet them, salt them and stick them in an oven at 180C for an hour and a half.  Meanwhile, steam your broccoli. Let it go a little past al-dente this time - you need it slightly squashable. 

Cut the tops off your beans and cut in half. Place them on a baking tray. Drizzle with enough oil to make them all slightly shiny. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Crush a garlic clove over them and give them a toss. Leave them on the side for now.

Walk away from the kitchen. Do something else. I made pom-poms but use your best judgement.

When the hour and a half is up, take out your potatoes. Split the potatoes open and scoop out the fluffy centres. Place into a bowl with the steamed broccoli, about ten gratings of strong cheddar, a small pinch of salt and a big grinding of pepper. Grate in a little nutmeg - we're talking about two or three scrapes down one of those tiny graters - any more and it's overpowering.

Stick the beans in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they have wrinkly skins and crispy edges. 

Mash your potato-broccoli-cheese mixture together with a fork. Smoosh back into your potato skins. Grate a little more cheese on top and place back into the oven on a baking tray. Bake for about 20 minutes until they're piping hot and the cheese is starting to brown.

Plate up with some rocket, take a quick snap and go and catch up on Game of Thrones. I hear it's a good one.



1 comment

  1. I am cool with the page and fine with it being an open page. I only bring it up because there was recently a thread on the page discussing the open nature of the page. During that thread it was pointed out that the church opted not to operate a facebook page and so several congregants began and administer the page. There seemed to be a lot of folks who were surprised or had forgotten that the page was unofficial.
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