Wednesday, 27 January 2010
I have always loved to eat and to cook. One of the most favourite Christmas Presents I received as a child was a tiny little refrigerator. We were living in Germany at the time and I was mesmerized by this miniscule fridge. It was very detailed and filled with little bottles and things, pretend food. I tried to feed some of it to my sister, who was only an infant at the time, so that didn't make me or my fridge very popular with my mother . . . but I think it was an early sign of the cook's heart that burns within my breast.
Oh, the imaginary dinner parties and tea parties I catered to as a child . . . salads composed of dandelion leaves ( I had no idea that they were edible at the time) flowers and buds, all lovingly put together into what I saw as very wonderful creations. Mud pies . . . what fun!
I have always been amazed at how it all goes together. I often find myself wondering how certain things came about . . . like who was the first person who discovered that if you beat together some eggs and flour, sugar and leavening . . . you would get a cake? Or who decided that cows milk was fit for human consumption . . . oh, and that if you shook the cream around you would get butter and it was tasty on bread and in baked goodies. Or cheese . . . who invented cheese?
I love to experiment myself with different flavours and ingredients. It is really inspiring to me how you can pick a few simple ingredients, all tasty . . . and then mix them together into something that is incredibly tastily moreish! Like these wonderful jacket potatoes . . . stogged full of buttery fried mushooms, stinking of lovely garlic, chives and parsley . . . and then slathered with cream and cheese. Oh, these are sooooooo good!
They make a wonderful light lunch or supper dish with a tasty salad on the side. I'm so glad I thunk em up.
*Jacket Potatoes with Cream and Walnuts*
Crispy jacket potatoes, stuffed with sauteed garlic, mushrooms and chives . . . then topped with cream and cheese. What's not to like?
4 large baking potatoes
3 ounces of butter
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and minced
5 1/2 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 TBS snipped fresh chives
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
salt and black pepper
6 ounces of double cream
4 TBs grated strong cheddar cheese
4 tBS chopped lightly toasted walnuts to garnish
fresh mixed salad to serve
Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Scrub the potatoes and then prick the skins several times with a fork. Place right on the rack in the oven and bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until cooked through. (they should give when lightly pressed) About five minutes before the end of the cooking time, heat the butter in a frying pan until it begins to foam. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Remove the potatoes from the oven. Cut in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the flesh into a bowl, leaving the skins intact. Add the remaining butter to the potatoe and mash well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the herbs and the mushroom mixture. Spoon the mixture back into the potato shells. Place in a baking dish. Spoon the cream over top and then sprinkle the cheese evenly over. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter the walnuts over top. Serve with a mixed salad if desired.