As a parent of two young children, I am mindful of the foods they eat, and the types of processed foods and chemicals that come into their diet. I try my best to cook from scratch, so I know how to pronounce the ingredients, and so my kids can see their mum using ingredients instead of packets. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not nearly perfect, and of course there are days that require a fast food emergency or a frozen pizza hail Mary. I try to minimise the chances by cooking baking trays of food that can be used and reused and frozen and reused later. This dish is a great example.
Served with a roast for a large crowd, or served with Polish sausage for a quick midweek meal, this is an easy dish that tastes extravagant. Using baby potatoes cuts the cooking and prep time, and my flourless cream sauce is gluten-free and fail proof. I strive to incorporate grown up flavours into my recipes. Even though they’re geared towards my 4- and 6-year-old, my husband and I still have to eat dinner! I find introducing the kids to more complex flavours, like stinky cheese, is best done in stages. With this in mind, please feel free to up the stinky ante and go for all gorgonzola in the recipe, but I’ve done a 50/50 with a sharp cheddar to mellow the blue cheese.
This recipe takes just over an hour, but it’s broken up with waiting for the potatoes to boil, and later the oven takes over. As a busy mum, I manage this midweek around washing up, potty breaks and sibling rivalries. The cheese sauce is so simple, and I can walk away from it if I have to without fear of burning. I cook gluten-free meals for my husband, but I’ll never go back to a flour-based sauce again after adopting this method. We like this with kielbasa and steamed broccoli, but it can be served with any number of meat/less varieties. I usually pop the sausage into the oven below the potatoes so they finish together, and it’s scrumdiddlyumptious. Hope you like it!
- Large pot 1/3 full of water (approx. 1 ltr)
- 15-20 baby (new) white and/or red skin potatoes (I half-filled a 9×13 glass baking dish)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chopped white onion (I use frozen)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1 ½ cup chicken stock (I used a teaspoon of concentrate dissolved into water)
- 1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups single cream (or half & half)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Large baking dish to single-layer the potatoes in the sauce
Bring to the boil a large pot full of the potatoes and water. Allow to boil for 10-15 minutes until just soft, slightly beyond parboil.
If you’d like to use a second pot, you can start the cheese sauce now, but I usually get something done while I’m waiting and then reuse the pot while the potatoes drain and cool.
Drain the potatoes and allow to cool slightly for minor handling. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
I use the same pot to now melt the butter and onions and allow to lightly fry on a medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes.
Add the dry spices and fry with the onions for about 1 minute before adding the chicken stock.
Allow the chicken stock to reduce by a third for about 5 minutes over a medium high heat.
Add the gorgonzola and cheddar and stir into the stock until it’s melted and incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
Add the cream and stir into the sauce, reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Have a taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Don’t worry if it looks like a little oily – as it reduces it will thicken up. Once the sauce covers only the mostly boiled potatoes, they will soak up the sauce so nicely (I promise).
While the sauce is reducing, the potatoes will have cooled and you can either use a cutting board, or my lazy method of toss and slice in the colander.
Once you’ve halved (most of) the potatoes, gently transfer them into the cheese sauce to coat them well.
Pour the potatoes and sauce into a baking dish (greased if metal). If you’ve missed a couple of potatoes in the toss and slice, this is your chance to slice away before putting the dish into the oven. The baby potatoes are so creamy themselves, it’s nice to keep larger chunks, so I don’t go crazy.
Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until golden on top.
My family love this dish, and it’s lovely to see them embracing stinky cheese. We had it this week with sausage and broccoli, then again with fish and peas. I’ll freeze a portion for easy midweek reheat, or it will go perfectly with a Sunday roast. I hope you find your favourite combination!