This is one of Pete's recipes - a really basic potatoes dauphinoise, as far as I can make out. (Gordon Ramsay's version here, so you can see what the original recipe features.) He allowed me in the kitchen only because it's so simple that I couldn't get in the way of his cooking with my camera and ruin it - although I nearly did, as it turned out, so this may be the last recipe for anything cooked by Pete that features photos taken while Pete is in the kitchen! The usual reason - I got engrossed in a book and forgot to keep an eye on the oven (even though I was in the kitchen at the time... actually, sitting on the kitchen counter across from the oven so as to be able to *ahem* keep an eye on it *koff koff* ...)
Anyway, like I said, the recipe is extremely basic and features a minimum of ingredients... but turns out surprisingly tasty. You can add herbs of choice, or garlic, along with the salt and pepper, although Pete didn't this time. I admit to having been very sceptical about the outcome - featuring such remarks as "Is that it? Really? That's all? That's IT? Nothing else?" - although in the end, I was forced to eat my words... can't say they went down very well.
Although the potatoes did.
Recipe for: Potatoes a la Pete
4-5 medium Maris Piper potatoes (or other waxy types)
1 to 1-1/2 cups full-fat or semi-skim milk
2 tbsp butter
Salt to taste
Freshly milled black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated cheese of choice (Pete used mature cheddar)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
2. Slice the potatoes into even 1/2-cm thick slices (no need to peel them, although you can if you like).
3. Melt the butter and pour into a deep, heavy-bottomed oven-safe casserole (with lid). Swirl the butter to cover the bottom of the dish and a little bit up the sides.
4. Place a layer of potatoes in the pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
5. Continue layering the potatoes, sprinkling salt and pepper generously over each layer, until the potatoes are all used up.
6. Pour the milk into the casserole dish - it should come up about 3/4 of the way to the top layer.
7. Put the lid on the casserole dish and place the dish on a baking tray (in case of overflow).
Let it cook covered for 30 minutes or so. Then check to see if the potatoes are cooked by inserting the tip of a knife in the top layer. If they're done, remove the lid and leave the potatoes to bubble away for another 10 minutes.
The milk should have reduced by now to nearly nothing and the potatoes should be fork-tender.
8. Switch the oven off. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the potatoes
and let it sit in the oven for a couple of minutes more, till the cheese begins to melt.
9. Serve hot as a side-dish.