Last weekend we travelled from Stirling and Swindon, from Harrogate and Hertfordshire, and a handful of other places that don’t start with the same letters. Twenty three adults, eleven children and one dog laser quested, swam, barbecued in the rain, watched Andy Murray, had their faces painted, talked, laughed and generally stayed up far too late every night.**
As per every year, Monday morning came round too soon and we had to pack up. I don’t know what extras the other twenty one adults, ten children and one dog brought home but no 41 has gained:
- 1 bottle ketchup
- 1 jar mayo
- 1 bottle balsamic vinegar
- 1 bottle extra virgin olive oil
- 1 glass bowl (we’ll bring it next time we see you, LG)
- 2 wine glasses (sorry E, didn’t know they were in the muffin box)
- 10 limes (how much G&T did you think we were going to drink, people?)
Back home my broken body craved carbs and with potatoes, courgettes and cream in the fridge it had to be a gratin. Up until this year I have consistently failed with gratins but thanks to the lovely Béa and her recipe for three root vegetable gratin dauphinois I now have a technique and a ratio that works.
The trick is slicing your vegetables paper thin with a mandolin, and the ratio is 1.3kg veg to 350ml double cream & 350ml milk. Mix your veg, infuse your milk & cream, add crispy bacon as we did this time – the variations are endless but the result is always the same – a perfectly cooked creamy, and on this occasion courgette and potato gratin dauphinois.
This year I baked chicken for us all on Friday night – courgette and potato gratin next year anyone?
- 350ml milk
- 350ml double cream
- splash olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped (because we had some leftover)
- 6 rashers bacon, chopped (again, because we had an open packet)
- 1.3kg mix of potatoes & courgettes, finely sliced with a mandolin
- 60g/1 handful grated cheese
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
- Butter a 9 x 11 inch baking dish.
- Put your milk and cream in a small pan and gently heat.
- Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and cook the chopped onions (I like to brown mine for flavour but its a fine line not to burn them). Set aside.
- If necessary add a splash more oil, then cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside.
- Layer your finely sliced potatoes and courgettes in the baking dish. Either sprinkle your onions and bacon through the layers or mix them into the milk and cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour over the milk and cream mixture and top with the grated cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 50mins or until the veg are cooked through and the cheese is brown and bubbling.
** Not all twenty three adults, eleven children and one dog took part in all listed activities.