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Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

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There’s a reason why I like the French style of cooking. Aside from the butter, of course, they name their dishes in the most fancy of fashions which is what I adore most. If they’re hard to pronounce, then they must taste just as interesting. And this dish doesn’t disappoint in the taste department.

It’s the cream, I say. The creams and sauces in French cuisine are the best. Couple that with toppings of cheeses, seasoned breadcrumbs and then baked to perfection and it becomes pure heaven. I have always loved any dish with a thick sauce on it, especially when the sauces are white and oozing with cheese.

Now if you’re very fond of the classic mashed potatoes, then this one will surely give your taste buds a good trip. Trust me, you’ll think of the French countryside when you take your first bite on this. You see, potatoes are great by itself. You can add them to any baked meats and it’ll still rock your taste buds. But when you pair it with a creamy cheese sauce, it’s a whole new level of culinary heaven.

Cooking in au gratin style is the best way to prepare your potatoes. If that doesn’t persuade you then you are not the foodie I expect you to be.

Ingredients

  • 4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Description

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 400°F or about 200°C. Grease a 1-quart casserole dish with butter generously.
  2. Arrange half of the potatoes at the bottom of the dish by layering them in one by one. Top with the onion slices and then add the remaining potatoes. Make sure to season this with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan. Use medium heat on this one so you won’t burn the butter. Next, mix in the flour and salt and stir constantly with a whisk for a minute. Then stir in the milk. Cook this until the mixture has thickened a bit. Lastly, add the cheese over the potatoes and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Place the dish in the oven and bake for an hour and a half. By the then, the potatoes will have been tender and cheeses are melted. Best served hot.

Lemon And Herb Roasted Chicken With Baby Potatoes

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I had a dinner party on the eve of spring last year and this was an absolute hit! I didn’t quite expect it because I knew many of my guests were big on organic food and vegetables. I remember having a difficult time deciding what to serve. I had to source out all the ingredients on this dish including the chicken from an organic store. I originally planned on having 2 chicken dishes for the night but decided otherwise. I settled on this one because it had potatoes so I no longer served the mashed ones.

It worked out pretty well. I already knew that adding herbs on chicken would be good. That’s a winning combination altogether. If you have to roast chicken you need the aromatics to go alongside it. Now adding the baby potatoes just completed the dish.

I found out soon after that what they loved about the dish was the texture of the meat. The chicken was juicy and tender on the inside, not to mention the rosemary smelled so good on it. I remembered that I served it last and it had just come out of the oven so it was piping hot. To me, that sealed the deal. After my guests had smelled the aroma, they probably didn’t want to try anything else.

Ingredients

  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) free-range chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 1/4 bunch each fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 11/2 pounds red new potatoes

 

Description

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 400°F.
  2. Make sure to clean the chicken by rinsing it with cool water. Pat dry with toilet paper towels.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper including the cavity before stuffing the lemon, garlic and herbs inside it.
  4. Take a roasting pan and place the chicken breast side up. Next, using a kitchen twine, tie the legs of the chicken together in order to hold its shape.
  5. Arrange the potatoes around the roasting pan. It should surround the chicken well and then season everything with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Then drizzle on olive oil.
  6. Place the whole thing in the oven and roast for about an hour or a little over (half an hour will do just fine). It’s best to rotate the pan every 20 minutes to make sure the browning of the skin is even. Baste the chicken on its own sauce after every turn.
  7. Insert a meat thermometer to the thickest part of the bird and check to see if the temperature reads at 165°F. That’s how you’ll know the chicken is done. Check to see if the legs would wiggle out easily from the sockets.
  8. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and arrange the potatoes. Baste everything with the sauce left on the roasting pan. Best served hot.

Chicken with Roasted Potatoes 2

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