Having a partner in the pub business means that often our meal times could be quite unpredictable. More so for him as I’m usually the one waiting for him to get off work. Sometimes, he’d fend for himself. More often than not, he’d come home with a massive appetite and hunger. Which means sometimes I need to come up with something delicious quickly.
This dish actually came together by accident. I picked out the potatoes which had been sitting in the fridge for almost a week and though I’d do a quick Chinese-style stir fry. But I discovered an unopened box of thickened cream while the potatoes and onion were 2 minutes into the pan. Why not turn this into a gratin, I thought. The cooking time has already been reduced, so…. perfect!! There was still half a block of Bleu Cheese left from making the dip for Buffalo Wings a week ago so I’ve decided to use that too.
This dish is not for the faint hearted, you have been warned. The aroma of Bleu Cheese actually made this a lot more interesting. That is, if you can tolerate Bleu Cheese. The non-appreciaters would compare this to foot odor. Which kinda makes sense because they are caused by the same bacteria.
Oh I’m sorry, did I just kill your appetite?
Anyway, here’s a pic to redeem myself. Of course, you could always use other types of cheese or none at all!
Luscious Potato Gratin with Cherry Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Bleu Cheese.
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 large potatoes, cut into thin slices (use a mandolin if you have one, or if you are awesome like me, just practise your knife skill)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
Handful of cherry tomatoes, to your liking, halved
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Grated Mozarella
1/4 cup Blue Cheese, hand torn
2 spring onions, chopped
Heat both olive oil and butter in a skillet, and add onions. Cook until soft, and add the potato slices. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until potatoes start to soften. (You could eliminate this step all together, just throw in a cast iron pan and bake, but increase baking time by about 15 minutes)
If you had thought ahead, you might have already been using the cast iron pan, but I didn’t. So I had to transfer the content. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. The Bleu Cheese tends to be quite salty so bear in mind with the seasoning. Lighthanded with the salt! Pour in the cream slowly, sort of around the sides and then the middle. Sprinkle both cheeses on top, followed by the cherry tomatoes.
Bake in 175 degree celcius oven until the top becomes golden brown – about 20 mins. Sprinkle the spring onions. Serve when warm as a side dish or on its own.
By the way, who was the first idiot who went and try a piece of that moldy cheese? Or shall I say, a damn brave soul? I do believe this is very much an acquired taste, much like the King of fruit Durian. I for one did not like it until in my late 20s.
As I was saying, the unique taste of the cheese, unapologetically creamy (and soft) potatoes balanced by the sweetness/tartness of cherry tomatoes. It’s positively decadent!