Monday, March 28, 2016

Cottage Cooking Club - March 2016

I've slowly been cooking my way through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's book River Cottage Veg with a wonderful group of bloggers led by our lovely host Andrea of The Kitchen Lioness. It's been almost two years since The Cottage Cooking Club got its start and it's hard to believe the journey with this book is almost at an end. This month I tackled two recipes.... 

Three-Root Boulangère (page 64) 
I discovered potato boulangère, scalloped potatoes baked in broth instead of cream, not too long ago when I made Jacques Pépin's recipe. It was delicious. So my expectations were high for this version with its added celeriac and parsnips.
The flavour certainly didn't disappoint but I did have a few issues: it took much longer than the recipe indicated for all of the vegetables to cook through - I suspect it was the celeriac that was the hold out; there was far too much liquid in it, most of which I poured off; I never achieved a crisp, browned top (I hid it under a layer of melty cheese). In comparing it to the recipe I'd had success with, I saw that much less stock was used (only 720ml/3 cups) for the same amount of vegetables and the dish was baked uncovered the entire time, which I think allowed greater evaporation of the liquid and led to a less wet casserole and a crisped top.

We really enjoyed this in the end and I think it's a great alternative to an all-potato boulangère but next time I'll adopt some of M. Pépin's tricks to perfect it.

"Vegiflette" Toastie (page 206)
Tartiflette, the French dish of cheese, ham and potatoes that inspired this sandwich is unfamiliar to me but I'm a huge fan of Hugh's toasties and the combination of bitter greens and cheese sounded particularly good. It was also a great way to use up leftover cooked potatoes I had. The recipe didn't disappoint: the Gruyère I used went perfectly with the bitter radicchio and crisped potatoes and like all of the toasties in the book, was a quick but very satisfying meal.

Only one month to go!


  1. I loved the toastie too! It's funny, I thought I followed the recipe, but my boulangere (I used potatoes and celery root) actually didn't have enough liquid and was a little burnt on top. I'm guessing my oven runs hot.

  2. The toastie was a favourite for me, too. Such a nice treat. I thought the boulangere looked interesting, but it wasn't in the cards this month. I'll keep your tips in mind when I get around to it.

    I can't believe we're down to one more post after this for this cookbook!

  3. Zosia, such beautiful pictures of your lovely dishes! You did a marvelous job with your Vegiflette toastie (don´t you just love that name) and your tips with respect to the Three-Root Boulangère are well noted - I was so tempted to make that dish but run out of time (Easter vacation and all).
    Great post, dear friend!
    We have almost reached the finish line!
    Thank you for your wonderful participation!

  4. Zosia....your recipes turned out beautifully. I'm intrigued by the root vegetable different that the base is broth and not cream! I love that, but I'll remember to allow for a longer cooking time. And your toastie looks heavenly! That, I MUST try! : )

  5. Hi Zosia, my gratin needed extra baking time as well, this was the first time I ever cooked with celeriac root but really enjoyed the dish. Loved the toastie as well. Your pictures turned out beautifully. Can't believe we only have one month left.

  6. Your dishes look wonderful! I think the stock with the potatoes would be great. I remember an earlier dish (AMFT) that had the potatoes cooked in stock - delicious!!

  7. Hi Zosia, I didn't make the boulangerie but I did make the vegiflette. I love the color the radicchio added to yours. I'm happy to see how many different cheeses work with that one. I plan to make it again and again.

  8. Hi Zosia, I did not get to the boulangerie which seems to be a favorite with our members, and that spouffle! Your vegiflette is amazing! Looking forward to what you will be making for April!

  9. Wish I had made the Toastie which you all have raved about making and eating. Yours looks delicious also. Well, my book isn't going anywhere so I will get many recipes I missed made in good time. It's really fun to cook a recipe after everyone else has tried it and commented on it.


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