Happy New Year! It’s 2019 in New Zealand, and has been all day. As the rest of you catch up, I wish you all the best for whatever this year brings.

For the US, it brings the first major Democratic candidate to announce for the 2020 election: Elizabeth Warren. I like Warren and think she would be a good president. However, I’m not sure she will be a good candidate. Every now and then she makes basic but major blunders. The most recent example is “proving” she has Native American ancestry. I much prefer her to Bernie though. I’ve never been a Bernie fan.

There are many others who are lining up on the Democratic side for 2020. It will be a good opportunity for them to get the White House back after only four years. Given his unpopularity, it will be difficult for Trump to win a second term. The only things in his favour are the Electoral College and the huge amount of gerrymandering, both of which favour the Republicans.

About Potatoes to Die For

But back to more important things – food! I promised I would provide the recipe for Potatoes to Die For after a few people began requesting it when I said it was one of the things I was making for Christmas lunch.

The original recipe came from one of my brothers-in-law. Robert is an excellent cook, and has been tantalizing our family’s taste buds since shortly after he and my sister Brenda began dating. I tried several times, but could never manage to get the recipe to taste as good as his. So, I made some adaptions and came up with this simpler version, which is nevertheless delicious.

I’ve put Gruyere cheese in the recipe as that’s what was in Rob’s original. However, I’ve made it several times with Edam cheese, and since Christmas I’ve decided I prefer my version with Edam. You could probably use whatever cheese you prefer though obviously, a milder cheese is probably better for kids.

Anyway, here it is! I use a large pie dish about 30 cm x 20 cm (12 x 8 inches). Mine is ceramic and the dish should be ceramic, Pyrex, or similar. You could alternatively use a smaller but deeper dish and put the potatoes in three layers instead of two.

Ingredients

10 medium potatoes
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups low-fat sour cream
½ cup low-fat milk
200 grams (7 ounces) Gruyere cheese, grated

Method

1. Wash and cook potatoes (by boiling).
2. Cool. (You can hasten the cooling by rinsing them for a few minutes in cold water, patting them dry with paper towels, and putting them in the fridge.)
3. Mix together all ingredients except potatoes.
4. Spray dish with cooking spray or similar. (This is important as otherwise the potatoes will stick and the dish will be a nightmare to clean.)
5. Slice potatoes into 5 mm (¼ inch) slices.
6. Spread half potatoes evenly over the base of the dish.
7. Spread half the mixture over the potatoes.
8. Place remaining potato slices evenly on top of the dish.
9. Spread remaining mixture over potatoes.
10. Cook at 180˚C (350°F) until top begins to brown (about 1¼ hours).

 

Notes:

Cheese
As I said above, if Gruyere isn’t available, I use Edam and have now decided I’ll use Edam in the future. Edam is also cheaper, which is a bit of a bonus given the price of dairy products these days. Basically, use any cheese that suits your palate.

Potatoes
Use new, non-floury potatoes. As the potatoes will be sliced once cooked and cooled, choose the same sort of potato you would for potato salad i.e. one that holds together after cooking.

Garlic
Fresh garlic is best, as is chopping rather than crushing. The taste difference is noticeable. However, the dish can be made with pre-crushed garlic.

Milk/Sour Cream
I prefer the flavour of low-fat milk and sour cream. Full fat sour cream in particular makes the dish quite rich and, imo, too heavy.


 

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