The Hubby said a half hour ago, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have tea to go with the cake?” And I thought, well, why not? It is a very hot day and drinking hot tea would make it all better. Not. Well anyway, I told him I’d do just that after I do my Zuhr prayers. And what do you know? In the middle of my prayers, I suddenly remembered the potato gratin I had left in the oven like over an hour ago! I couldn’t do my solat perfectly; my mind was consumed with the thought of my burnt potato gratin. I tried very hard to push the thought out and think of God but the minute I ended my solat, I rushed to the kitchen. As feared, my potato gratin top was not a lovely golden brown as I envisioned, but a dark caramelly hard mass of mozzarella cheese that had been sunbathed too long. Sighing, I took the thing out and cut it open. The inside was perfect. In fact, it tasted real good. What inspired me to make this potato gratin at 3 in the afternoon? Laura Calder from the TV show – French Food at Home. Now, her version was very different from mine; in fact, the name of her dish is a very long French title. Her recipe basically was to layer onions that had been previously fried in butter (French butter, I presume) with thinly cut slices of different types of potatoes. In the baking dish, she poured some beef stock before putting the whole thing to be slow roasted in the oven (about 2 to 3 hours). Her seasonings were simply the usual salt and pepper and fresh thyme.
My version was:
1. Saute thickly cut onions in butter (Australian) until soft and caramelly.
2. Place the onions in a shallow baking dish, top it with a layer of thinly cut potatoes (locally grown, or at least Malaysian potatoes).
3. On top of that potato layer (seasoned with salt and black pepper and dried thyme), layer thickly cut tomatoes (seasoned with dried thyme) and then do a second layer of potatoes.
4. Pour a packet of whipped cream and top with mozzarella cheese.
Voila! It really tasted good -earthy and wholesome (because of the tomatoes). The burnt mozzarella top just made the dish crisper. Of course, if you are more conscientious then me, do not go for the crispy top and take care of you gratin. Oh, and it brought me to the conclusion that anything cooked with cream will taste good.
Now, I usually, what with being Malay and all, eat anything ‘potato-ly’ with some hot sauce. My choice for that day was my favourite Habanero sauce, but as it turned out, the dish tasted really earthy and creamy, I didn’t use a single drop of Mr Tabasco. 🙂
So what about that tea and cake bit? Well, I finally managed to boil a kettle and infuse a bag of Lipton’s Lemon and Ginger. I used honey to sweeten the tea; this time, inspired by my spa trips at Tanjong Jara.
The cake which I baked yesterday was consumed in like 3 minutes by The Hubby and I was relieved. No more leftovers (what with half of the cake wrapped in foil, ready to be delivered to my Mom).
And, oh, what was the baby doing while Mommy was making tea? The Daddy put him in…
Cake story coming up next.
Learning points for today’s cooking fiasco:
#1 Do not go to sleep after putting something with cheese topping in the oven.
#2 Onions and butter. Do it again!
#3 Cream. Mmmmm… Save up more money to buy more cream.