Blue cheese and spinach baked potatoes

More in the baked potato series. I learned a few more things this week. Bigger is not better, it just causes trouble with the baking. A good size potato is 300g, more is a bother. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 potatoes for baking: 600 to 700g
  • Butter
  • 3 tbsp cream
  • 60+g soft blue cheese
  • 200g spinach¬†
  • 20g pecan or walnuts, lightly toasted
  • salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Heat the oven to 220C
  • Rub the potatoes with oil and salt, and bake in the oven for around one hour.¬†
  • When they are done, remove them from the oven, scoop out the potato flesh, and return the skins to the oven with a little butter to crisp them up.¬†
  • Meanwhile, mash the potato with the rest of the butter, the cheese and milk, and a good grating of pepper. Pop the mash into the microwave on high for around 1 minute to melt things together a little
  • Wilt the spinach in a pan for around 15 seconds, with a little salted water. Squeeze out the water and whisk into the mashed potato
  • Return the mash into the potato skins and pip back into the oven until ready to serve – around 10 minutes. Sprinkle the toasted nuts onto the potatoes before serving

The second time I made this, I left out the spinach, and served them with kale tops as a side dish. 

 

Tagliatelle with St Agur Cream sauce and spinach.

This is an adaptation of a recipe from ‘Vegetarian Pasta’ by Rose Elliot. We had quite a lot of cream and cheese left towards the end of the Christmas break, so this was an excellent way to pull everything together.¬†

INGREDIENTS:

  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 300ml cream¬†
  • salt, black pepper
  • grated nutmeg
  • 400g tagliatelle or fettuccine
  • 125g blue cheese such as St Agur or dolcelatte, chopped
  • 125g spinach leaves, shredded
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

METHOD:

  • Make the cream sauce. Melt the butter in a small pan, and add the onion. Cook very gently for ten minutes with the lid on. The onion should be tender, but not brown.¬†
  • Add the garlic, and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the cream, and leave to simmer very gently for another ten minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.¬†
  • Put a large pan of salted water on to boil for the tagliatelle. When the water boils, add the pasta, give it a stir and leave to cook for around 8 minutes.¬†
  • A couple of minutes before the pasta is ready, add the cheese and spinach to the sauce, and stir to warm through, and season with pepper.¬†
  • Drain the cooked pasta and put it back in the warm pan, add a tablespoonful of good olive oil and stir.¬†
  • Serve in warm dishes with the sauce poured over the top. You can also pour the sauce onto the pasta in the pan, stir, and then serve onto warm dishes.¬†

Pork chops grilled with blue cheese

This made a real mess of the grill but it was sensational. Recipe from Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries. I love the way he is really showing us good ways to eat, rather than fancy ways to cook.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large pork chops or steaks
  • 50g blue cheese
  • 50g butter
  • 50ml single cream
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • a sprinkling of salt

METHOD:

  • Mash the cheese, butter, cream, mustard, thyme and black pepper together, and put in the fridge to chill a little.
  • Sprinkle the chops with a little salt, and grill under a hot hot grill, until just beginning to colour on each side, and the chops are just cooked through, about 7-10 minutes on each side
  • Put a slice of the blue cheese/butter mixture over the chops and return briefly to the grill, until the blue cheese melts onto the chops. Leave it too long and the mixture drips into the grill pan and makes a mess.

I served this with new potatoes, courgettes in a lemon and olive oil dressing, and some braised fennel.