Thursday, 25 November 2010

Improvised version of Potatoes Florentine

I was tired of the same old potatoes and decided to improvise a dish by adding creamed spinach and tomatoes to see what happened. Of course, the dishes containing spinach acquire the posh "Florentine" title, which helps awaken the taste buds...


2 or 3 medium potatoes per person
Enough creamed spinach for a generous layer
Fresh cream
2 or 3 tomatoes, again to make a layer
Grated cheese (I used Emmenthal, but Cheddar works just as well)
Salt & pepper to taste


Wash and/or peel the potatoes. Parboil them, slice them and reserve (at this point, I drizzled them with olive oil and kept them in the pan where they were cooked). Chop the spinach, season with salt & pepper and a pich of nutmeg, then add some fresh cream. Slice the tomatoes and grate the cheese. In an ovenproof dish, put a layer of creamed spinach on the bottom, a layer of tomatoes, a layer of grated cheese and finish with a layer of potatoes. Place in a pre-heated oven until the potatoes are golden. I cheated on the spinach and used frozen épinards à la crème. I was improvising, after all... I regret not using some garlic (that was very out of character!) and I think it would make the dish a lot better.

You may wish to alter the order of the layers (but not the potato layer) or add some grated cheese on top of the potatoes for the last ten minutes or so. Introduce any variations according to your own tastes and see where it takes you. The idea is to make potatoes more interesting...

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Pumpkin, carrot and beetroot soup

Pumpkins are plentiful at this time of the year so I made a soup that will give you a bumper dose of the important anti-oxidant beta carotene. It was delicious!


Pumpkin, diced
Trimmed leeks
A couple of potatoes
Dry white wine
Chicken bouillon
Onion and garlic
A small amount of grated ginger
Salt & pepper to taste.


Dice onions, chop garlic, cut all vegetables into chunks. I didn't give exact amounts of anything, you can vary according to taste and how much soup you're making. In a large pan, fry the onions until golden. Add the veggies, mix well, add the garlic, paprika, ginger, white wine and enough bouillon for the amount of vegetables. Adjust seasoning. Simmer for about 1 hour. Check that everything is cooked, whizz the lot in a blender, re-heat gently, taste and adjust seasoning and serve.

The colour of this soup is something to behold! I forgot to take a photo of my own soup, but the one in the photo above looks quite similar to what we enjoyed the other evening.