Have you noticed that the category of comfort food almost always involves one or more of the following:
4. Lots of gravy or soupy
It was raining all day and I just craved some comfort food in its pure, unadulterated form. I had 2 options: Go Chocolate or Go Carbo (sounds like a Road Block from The Amazing Race, heh).
Carbo won this round.
Again, I referred to Jo Pratt's cookbook. I referenced her recipe for a Cheese, Onion & Potato Pie. It uses ingredients that I already had on hand, and the thought of tucking in to a hot casserole of cheesy, gooey, creamy mash sounded REALLY appealing.
The recipe called for 1 tsp of mustard which I didn't have. Instead of omitting it, I replaced it with 1 tsp of wasabi - of the tube variety, of course. I wish I had real grated wasabi but I am only a plebian with no access to such luxuries. Wistful sigh.
Still, it was good. Wasabi is always good. I love adding it to my mayo whenever I make salads. They give a beautiful dimension to dips and pastes.
Anyway, the sight of bubbling hot mash in my tiny oven was so seductive I couldn't resist taking a photo.
My casserole runneth over ... almost!
Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and this pie passed with flying colours. I almost didn't want to share it with my daughter (another fan of potatoes) but motherly love saved the day. Thank goodness my 2 sons are fans of rice!
The word on the casserole says it all. DELICIOUS, indeed.
(adapted from Jo Pratt's In the Mood for Food)
- 750g potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 40g butter
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 100ml milk
- 200g mature cheeses, grated (I used a mix of white cheddar, red cheddar and mozza)
- 1 tsp wholegrain or English mustard (which I subbed with wasabi)
- ea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 tomatoes, sliced
* Optional: This is essentially a vegetarian dish but you can add other ingredients too - like leftovers!
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
2. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15-20 mins or until tender.
* I boiled them, skins on, in a pressure cooker. Didn't add any salt. And they were perfect after 10mins. I just peeled off the skins after they were slightly cooled.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a pan and gently saute the onion until lightly golden and sweet. This will take about 10mins. Add the milk to the pan and heat until almost boiling.
4. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Mash really well with a potato masher, and then beat in the milk and onion, three-quarters of the cheese, the mustard and some seasoning.
* As I mentioned, I used wasabi instead of the mustard. I don't own a potato masher, so I used the backs of 2 forks.
5. Transfer to a buttered oven proof dish, scatter over the remaining cheese and lay the tomato slices on top.
* Since I used really small cherry tomatoes, I cut them in halves and planted them into the mash.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 mins until the top is bubbling and lightly golden.
PS: I borrowed 5 cookbooks from the library, and already my daughter has flagged numerous pages with post-its. "I want you to make these!" was her order. I am making them one by one. The things we do for our kids. But hey, fodder for my blog, so I ain't complaining. LOL!