Gratin Dauphinoise...

You don't need to say much regarding this dish, it's simplicity and flavour speak for themselves. Thinly sliced potato, baked in cream with onions and garlic... it's probably my favourite way for potatoes.

• Finely slice the onion and crush the garlic.
• Slowly sweat down in a pan with a little butter/oil. Do not burn.
• Meanwhile, finely slice the potatoes and begin to arrange in a dish.
• Every so often add some of the onion/garlic mixture and seasoning before continuing to layer potatoes.
• Thin the creme fraiche with some milk to a consistency like double cream and combine with the double cream.
• Pour the creams over the potatoes and cover with foil.
• Bake in a preheated oven (170°C) for around 2 hours.
• The last 20 minutes should be uncovered to crisp the top up.

• You can top with grated cheese (Gruyere/Cheddar) for a lovely cheesy top (see picture).
• My recipe roughly follows that of
Leith's Cookery Bible.
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Tomato, Olive & Feta Salad...

This is incredibly simple to put together, but makes a lovely side salad with meats, especially BBQ but great with a buffet too. The basics come together tastily enough, but you can also add basil, finely chopped onion, chopped pepper etc, also leave out the olives if you don't like them.

These are the rough proportions...
• 500g small/cherry tomatoes
• 100g feta
• 100g olives

if you want to add them...
• about 1 tablespoon of finely chopped onion
• half a red pepper, finely chopped

Chop all the ingredients, crumble the feta into rough cubes, place in a large bowl and mix together gently with a litle olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper.
(quantities above will serve 4-6 as a side portion)
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Red Pepper & Olive Muffins...

I came accross this recipe which in turn comes from here. I then gave it a go, and developed it to vary the ingredients. First of all I didn't feel the squash added much to it, so not worth the extra effort, but I thought there'd be some value in the charred sweetness of roasted red pepper. So, the ingredients picture below is in fact the Spinach & Feta, but the finished article is the Red Pepper & Olive. You need to substitute the spinach for olives and use one red pepper.

Anyway, these are deceptively simple to throw together and cook in no time so you have to give them a try.

• Preheat oven to 200°C and grease a muffin tin.
• Chop the pepper and roast for 10-15 minutes until softened and slightly charred.
• Leave to cool slightly, then place in a mixing bowl with a handful of chopped parsley, a handful of chopped olives, 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan, cubed feta, salt & pepper, seeds and a teaspoon of mustard. Mix lightly.
• Mix the eggs and milk together, then add to the bowl.
• Sift the flour into the bowl and bring together quickly. Don't overmix.
• Place large spoonfuls in the muffin tin and bake for 10-15 minutes.
(Makes 12)

• You can set aside a little feta and seeds to sprinkle on top before baking
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