So here we are a New Year - another year to see what adventures 2016 will bring for me, my family, my friends and of course, all the foodie bloggers and readers of the world!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR to each and all,
Each day during Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall,
Whether you are following a recipe and making it up,
Serving it on a plate, in a bowl or in a cup,
With all your successes and even the duds,
May every mouthful excite your tastebuds!!!
As for the House of Murray - well 2016 has already started with a bang!! Surrounded over the Festive Season with our family and friends was the perfect way to welcome in the New Year. All the food and the drinks saw many of us with full (and some sore) bellies for days but more importantly the feeling of love and friendship was, and always is, priceless and something that I cherish.
Food wise our house has been filled with everything from Roast Turkey and Stuffing, Roast Pork and Crackle, Rich Gravy, Vegetables, Steamed Christmas Puddings (we made a lot this year), Mince Pies, a Gingerbread House (made by Alexandria), candy canes, chocolates to champagne, wine, beer and spirits. Oh my it's been a food-fest!!!!
One thing however that I do get sick of is all the Christmas food... it's rich and filling but after a week or so I just want comfort food or as my kids said one morning "Mam can we please have some normal food?".... made me laugh but also I couldn't agree more.
So today, New Year's Day, needless to say that we did have left overs from last nights celebrations and we were having more family down for a late lunch. It was decided to use the leftovers consisting of ham, chicken souvlaki, salads and roast potatoes. Even though I whinge about leftovers I do not like wasting food!!
Roast potatoes... hhhmmmm what's something I could do with them rather than reheating them only for them to go hard and dry out??? I decided I would adapt a few recipes for Loaded Potato Bakes and make my own without using mayonnaise or sour cream. What did I use instead? Béchamel Sauce of course.. why not? Outcome AMAZING.... everyone had seconds although to point the finger my sister in law Clare had 3 serves!!!
Now this was easy to make although a little time consuming it was definitely worth it!! I would have to say it may now be on the favourite potato bake recipe list!! Full of a lush creamy herb sauce, bacon, garlic, spring onion and cheese, with a hint of chilli, smothering soft potatoes what more could anyone ask for?? In our case maybe two casserole dishes full of this wonderful creation?? I could have easily just sat there and ate that instead of everything else that was presented for lunch today.
Creamy Loaded Herb Potato Bake
1 kilogram leftover roasted jacket potatoes
(OR 1 kilogram jacket potatoes, roasted)
500 grams bacon, diced
6 spring onions, sliced
50 grams butter
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 litre skim milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Franks Hot Sauce
2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
ground white pepper
150 grams grated tasty cheese
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Spray a casserole dish or baking pan with cooking spray and cover the base with the roast potatoes (it doesn't matter if they overlap).
Place in oven for 10 - 15 minutes to warm through.
Meanwhile cook the bacon and 2/3rds of the spring onion in a frying pan over medium heat until bacon starts to brown and onion soften. Remove from heat.
In a large saucepan add butter. Cook over medium heat and until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until flour is mixed through and you have a nice soft roux. Return to the heat and gradually add in the milk, using a whisk mix continually, ensuring it's completely mixed through and that you have no lumps. Continue with remaining milk. Leave to simmer over low heat, stirring, until thickened slightly. Add the mustard, hot sauce, oregano, tarragon and season with salt and pepper.
Remove potatoes from oven. Sprinkle with the bacon mixture, pour over the béchamel sauce mix and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake in oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until cheese has melted and sauce bubbling.
Sprinkle with remaining spring onions before serving.