Right, for my second try-out, I have a recipe I followed in spirit if not to the letter. Some of the quantities I felt were not quite right for the hungry chaps and chapesses sitting down to dinner at my table, so I upped amounts. I will give you the quantities from the recipe, but will also let you know how much I actually used.
This recipe is meant to serve six.
Begin by peeling and thinly slicing 2 medium baking potatoes.
I actually used about 8 small to medium sized potatoes as that was the size of the potatoes in the cupboard, and I wanted more filling, potato-ey goodness.
Put half of the potato in a layer on the bottom of a lightly buttered oven-proof dish.
(The recipe calls for a 2.4l one.)
Pour over 600ml, or a good old-fashioned pint, of white sauce. The recipe, for speed and ease, suggests bought but I am far too tight-fisted to be forking out about two quid for something that costs not much more than a pint of milk. I use a cheat-y, quick way, which makes it easier to make it lump free. I simply dollop my 50g of plain flour on top of my 600ml of milk, and balloon-whisk till all the flour lumps have disappeared...
...then I dollop in my 50g of butter or margarine, and then bring to the boil, whisking most of the time. Add seasoning and it's done.
So the white sauce goes on top of the potato layer...
...and then sprinkle over half a 390g can of 'Eazy Fried Onions'. I did not have this, not because I am a purist who would rather fry my own onions, or a cheapskate who is not prepared to spend 69 of my pennies on a can of onions (when raw ones are about half the price), but because I can't bear to see those kind of spellings in my cupboards!
So I fried one (I'd have done two but what lay in the cupboard, that I thought to be an onion, was actually a rather small and strangely shaped butternut squash) and sprinkled away.
Then 250g of frozen peas were strewn on top, followed by 450g of cooked, shredded chicken. I used 4 chicken breasts, but this would be a great recipe for using up leftovers after a roast.
The rest of the potato is then layered on top...
I was in a bit of a rush, so it was a little haphazard...
20g of garlic butter was dotted over the potatoes, and the dish was wrapped tightly in foil.
It was then placed in the oven at 180 degrees/160 Fan oven/Gas Mark 4 for an hour, then the heat was notched up to 200 degrees/180 Fan Oven/Gas Mark 6, the foil was whipped off and the bubbling dish was left to get all golden and toasty for a further 20-30 minutes.
I got a wee bit fed up with waiting for ours so I may have hoiked it out a little before it was golden all over (though this may be partly down to my oven). Anyway, the potatoes were soft, and those so-very-nearly-burnt bits were completely irresistible, so I dived in and served it.
It did not disappoint!
It was even worth the mess in the oven as my dish was too small!