Easy Potato Bake

plated potato bake

Baking is something I enjoy a lot. Cooking a simple meal and not including potatoes is not right for me. This recipe reminds me of one of my trips to Kerala. A recipe comes to me in many ways and adding a difference to it is always on my mind. If I trip on an easy recipe I will never turn my eyes off it. Like the Quick Fried egg sandwiches, this recipe is also from a newspaper. I usually don’t like reading politics and other news. As my husband grabs up the main paper, I childishly take the other half of the colorful segment that includes gossips, food and lifestyle.

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I penned down this recipe during one of our stays in a hotel in Kochi, when I was going through the lifestyle edition of the newspaper. I removed the paper and kept it aside in my bag as I was keener on the lovely breakfast buffet spread in that hotel. It is one of my favorite places to stay as you wake up early and dine like a celebrity sitting in the hotel’s restaurant. No matter where you sit, you will find Malayalam movie actors to your right and politicians to your left, enjoying the same attention and service by the wonderful Food and Beverage staff. If you simply decide to go to the pool or take a walk in the garden here too you will find some actors or movie directors being interviewed by the press or media. It is perfect place where you find exotic food and an exhibition of stars.

roux procedure

bechamel finishing

This wonderfully textured and flavorful potato dish goes very well with a chicken roast. The thick creamy white sauce or the Béchamel is the base for this potato bake. It is topped with bread crumbs and gratinated to give a finished crispy top. I have tasted many white sauce dishes by pro chefs and punters alike but I still like to follow the standard white sauce recipe learnt from my cooking school. The classic standard white sauce recipe has a small onion or garlic, with an amount of cream or wine flavored with grated nutmeg. This white sauce can also be added to your pasta with some extra cheese. This recipe serves four, so pep up your Roast chicken with this Potato bake, here goes the recipe……

Ingredients:-

  1. Milk – 5oo ml (a pack)
  2. Butter – 50 gms.
  3. Cheese – 2-3 cubes ( 40 gms approx.)
  4. Refined Flour – 3 Tablespoons.
  5. Garlic – 2 cloves (small).
  6. Potatoes – 4 medium sized.
  7. Nutmeg – a pinch
  8. White Pepper – half teaspoon.
  9. Salt to taste.
  10. Bread crumbs – half cup
  11. Butter melted – 2 tablespoons.

Method:-

  • Take a Sauce pan and roast the all-purpose refined flour on a very low flame.
  • Crush the garlic cloves and chop it up nicely. Add to the flour and keep stirring with a wooden spoon.
  • Add butter and allow it to melt and mix with the flour. Slowly add warm milk while stirring so no lumps are forms. ( do not use boiling milk).
  • Keep stirring on a medium low flame till it coats the back of your wooden spoon and turns saucy.
  • Add the cream and season with salt and pepper. Finish it off with freshly grated nutmeg and keep aside.
  • Peel and thickly slice the potatoes. Parboil them in some salted water, drain and keep aside. Cut the cheese as per desired or grate them, keep aside.
  • Take fresh bread crumbs and mix the melted butter into it and keep aside.
  • Take a deep bake dish. Line them with butter and layer with half of the potato slices and cheese. Pour the sauce over it and repeat again with the layers.
  • Finally top up with the prepared bread crumbs and bake in an oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 20-25 min or till the top is perfectly browned and crisp. Serve hot with roast chicken or steaks.

layering the bake

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