Simple, kinda festive, but most importantly delicious. Okay, so it is the season for holiday cooking and treating ourselves to all our favourite foods. And even though I’m not a big fan of festive-style cooking or of the what Christmas has become in general, I do like spending time with my favourite people and enjoying food. I also think it’s ok to take a different approach to food at this time of year. It’s ok to say no the ‘Christmassy’ style foods if they aren’t for you. I’m all for just eat the food that you love, whatever the time of year. And what do I love, well I’ll start with potatoes. And while I’ll quite happily have my potatoes cooked in lots of different ways, there is something about an oven baked potato gratin that’s rather appealing at this time of year.
A classic potato gratin is made with a mixture of cream and milk. And while they can be delicious, I find them a little too heavy for me. I should say this isn’t me going on some sort of pre-Christmas holiday heath buzz, rather it’s about changing things up to suit the food and flavours that I like the best. This gratin is cooked with a mixture of crème fraîche and vegetable stock and honestly, I think you might like it just as much if not better than the cream version. I’m also a big fan of tasting vegetables and not just the cream, butter and cheese they are cooked in and you definitely taste the potatoes in this one.
I’ve included a recipe for one of my favourite sauces / dressing. It’s made with almonds and chilli, packs a serious punch in the heat department and is great drizzled over all sorts of things including this gratin. Also great on soups btw. If you are not bothered making this from scratch yourself, just use a chilli oil or chilli flakes for heat – both work perfectly well.
Keep scrolling for my Potato Gratin with a Chilli & Almond Dressing and enjoy x
Potato Gratin with and Chilli & Almond Dressing
Serves 4 to 6
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 kg potatoes (Maris Piper), thinly sliced.
200g Crème Fraiche
200 ml vegetable stock
Sea salt and black pepper
For the Chilli and Almond Dressing
1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 tbsp almonds
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp honey
60ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Heat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6. Add the oil to the pan along with the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat for ten minutes, until soft and golden. Tip into a bowl.
Use a mandolin to cut your potatoes into thin slices. If you won’t own a mandolin, use a very sharp knife. Add the potato slices to the bowl along with the yogurt and season with sea salt and black pepper. Lay half the mixture in the bottom of an oven proof dish. Add the remaining potato slices on the top in a spiral pattern. Pour the stock over and cover with tin foil and bake for an hour. Remove the thin foil and bake for a further 30 minutes.
To make the chilli and almond pesto add chilli and garlic to a food processor and pulse until broken down. Add the almonds and blitz into small crushed almonds (don’t over blitz into ground almonds). Add the honey and oil and mix well. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
To serve the potato gratin, place the oven proof dish in the centre of the table and dollop some of the dressing on top. Serve the remaining dressing in a bowl to the side. Add some finely chopped parsley to serve.