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Friday, 2 March 2012

Double Cheese, Ham and Potato Bake

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 1 1/4 hours


260g Spinach
75g grated Cheddar
75g grated Double Gloucester
25g Butter
15g Plain Flour
400ml Milk
3 tbsp Double Cream
3 tbsp snipped Chives
750g peeled and thinly sliced Potatoes
3 thinly sliced Shallots
2 pinches grated Nutmeg
200g chopped Ham


1 - Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C, fan oven 170 degrees C, gas mark 5. Butter a 2 litre ovenproof dish.

2 - Tip the spinach into a heatproof bowl, pour over boiling water and leave for a few seconds to wilt. Tip into a colander and run under cold water. Squeeze ot excess water and set aside dried on a kitchen towel.

3 - Make the cheese sauce. Combine the grated cheeses in a bowl. Melt half the butter in a pan, stir int he flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for 1-2 minutes then remove from the heat and stir in the cream, 2 tbsp chives and two thirds of the mixed cheese.

4 - Layer a third of the potato slices in the ovenproof dish in overlapping slices, then top with a third of the shallots. Scatter over half the spinach, a pinch of nutmeg and half the ham. Pour over half the cheese sauce.

5 - Repeat the layering, then dot the top with butter and the remaining cheese.

6 - Put the dish on a baking sheet. Bake for about 1 1/4 hours until the dish is bubbling and golden on top but the potatoes are tender. Cover loosely with foil if the top is getting too brown.

7 - Remove and let settle for 5 minutes, then serve with the remaining chives sprinkled over the top.

Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 30 minutes


400g Butternut Squash cubed
2 tbsp Olive Oil
100g Tenderstem Brocolli halved lengthways
1 finely chopped Onion
2 crushed Garlic Cloves
2 tbsp chopped Fresh Sage
1/2 tbsp dried Chilli Flakes
300g Risotto Rice
125ml  White Wine
1 litre Hot Vegetable Stock
60g Soft Cheese


1- Preheat The Oven to 200 degrees C, 180 degrees C in a fan oven, gas mark 6.

2 - Tip the cubed butternut squash into a roasting tin. Add 1tbsp olive oil and mix well. Cook in oven for 10 minutes, then add brocolli and cook for a further 20 minutes.

3 - While that is cooking heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions for 5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add Garlic, Sage and Chilli Flakes. Cook for 1 further minute, then add rice.

4 - Pour the wine into the frying pan and simmer until absorbed.

5 - Gradually add Vegetable Stock a ladleful at a time, stirring until it absorbes and the rice is tender. this takes approximately 25 minutes.

6 - Season with black pepper, stir through soft cheese and half the butternut squash. Top with remaining squash and serve.