Caston Women's Institute

Lou’s Cheesy Bacon Onion & Mushroom Bake

from Louise Davies

Lou’s Cheesy Bacon Onion & Mushroom Bake
(or make it Vegetarian –  see below)

Serves 4

1 tsp vegetable oil
8 oz smoked bacon lardons or smoked bacon
2 large onions, sliced
8 oz mushrooms, quartered
3 lb potatoes, sliced (enough to cover base and top layer of your dish)

Cheese Sauce
2 oz plain flour
2 oz butter
1 pint milk
4 oz mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp mustard powder

1 packet of plain salted crisps, crushed
1 oz mature cheddar cheese, grated

Heat oven to 200c/180c fan

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the bacon for 5 minutes until just starting to crisp
Add the onions and mushrooms and sizzle until soft and golden.

Meanwhile tip the potatoes into a large pan of water (add a little salt if preferred) and bring to a gentle boil and cook for 6-7 minutes until tender, drain thoroughly.

Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a pan and add the four and mustard to make a roux then add the milk, stir until it thickens and then add the grated cheese until it melts.

In a gratin dish layer the base with potatoes then place in the bacon, mushroom and onions and pour over half the cheese sauce, top with the remainder of the potatoes and then the other half of the sauce.

Finally sprinkle over the 1 oz of grated cheese and the crushed crisps.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

Can be served with vegetables or a crisp green salad.

Vegetarian Option:
Take out the bacon and replace with cauliflower florets (which can be cooked with the potatoes)
Serve bacon/gammon separately for those meat eaters!



My Mums boiled fruit cake recipe

from Sue Ash

A quick and easy recipe that always worked and if guests arrived could be knocked up in time for a quick cup of tea and slice.

12 ounces mixed dried fruit
Quarter pound margarine
1 cup of cold water
1 cup of sugar
half a teaspoon of bicarb of soda
2 eggs
1 cup of self raising flour
1 cup of plain flour

Mix fruit, margarine, water, sugar in saucepan – boil for three minutes.  Leave to cool then add bicarb of soda letting it froth.  Add 2 eggs and mix then fold in the flour.

Put into lined cake tin and cook in oven for approx 1hour and fifteen minutes at Gas mark 3 or 150 – 170 degrees (electric).

Leave to cool and enjoy.

Couscous Salad

A couple of you asked me about the couscous I took to the summer social – so here it is.
This is a recipe from the very first Jamie Oliver book. It uses uncooked couscous marinated in lemon salad dressing rather than cooking it. These quantities are for a bowl that serves 4-6 as a side dish.

Lemon dressing:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

250g couscous
1/2 pint cold water

Toss the couscous in the lemon dressing, then add the water, stir and leave to marinade for 15 mins

2/3 peppers – roasted, skinned & de-seeded & chopped
2/3 tomatoes – skinned & de-seeded & chopped
1 medium chilli – de-seeded & chopped
2 shallots finely chopped (or small red onion if no shallots)
1/2 clove of garlic – very finely chopped – not crushed
2 bunches/handfuls of herbs (I used mint & flat leaf parsley) finely chopped
juice of a lemon
1 teasp. red wine vinegar

Marinade the peppers, tomatoes, chilli, shallots, garlic and herbs in the lemon juice and vinegar for 15 minutes. Drizzle with a little olive oil (+ salt and pepper to taste) and then mix into the couscous.