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Broad bean, leek, bacon & roquefort potato skins

Broad bean, leek, bacon & roquefort potato skins

I had a bit of a culinary disaster the other night. I had planned to make a lactose free macaroni cheese and had gone to great pains to get my ingredients. Buffalo milk, goats butter & sheeps cheese, all ready to go. I had planned to make a bechamel and sink the macaroni in it with some manchego & blue cheese throughout and panko breadcrumbs and manchego on top. Alas, it wasn’t to be, my buffalo milk was unpasteurised and was already sour having bought it on Sunday. I was devastated! I had been building up to it for a few days buying my ingredients. So, stranded in my kitchen, with the makings of a bad macaroni cheese and so annoyed I was ready to give up and sulk and watch trash tv with a glass of wine, I reviewed my options. We had had braised sausages and mash the night before and had baked potatoes for the mash in order to get a better texture for our mash. We still had the skins. I had a kilo of broad beans from the farmers market. I had goats cream from St Helens Farm for the dish that shall not be spoken of. Some leeks and a nice big block of roquefort. I started to feel better. In the end, waste of food aside, I was almost happyto have failed as I was so pleased with the outcome of the stuffed potato skins. They were delicious! I served them with grated raw beetroot dressed with balsamic and some redcurrants and washed it all down with a glass of robust red wine.

It was all a bit slap dash given my frustration with preceding events, and while I had a kilo of broad beans, they actually weren’t the best and I had to bin some, so this recipe is approximate. I don’t think changes in the ingredients will compromise this dish though, it’s very rustic and the flavours work well so a little more of one and less than the other should be fine, so feel free to play. It’s the flavour combinations that work well here.

As with all dishes, you’ll get a better result with the best ingredients but I would particularly encourage using a good bacon for this. We get ours in our farmers market from Grassmere Farm and it’s so good! It retains its moisture and the flavour is really distinct, even alongside the strong blue cheese, it really stood up to it. Roquefort is one of my favourite blue cheeses, it’s made from sheeps milk so is great for lactose free dinners.

We were hungry and our potato skins were small so we had three each but two might suffice per person if they were large enough.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients (for 2):

750g broad beans, in the pod, double podded
6 potato skins (baked potatoes with the potato scooped out)
1 leek, halved and finely sliced
60ml single cream
100g roquefort or another blue cheese like gorgonzola
6 slices good streaky bacon, sliced into thin strips
1 beetroot, grated
good balsamic vinegar

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200 degress celcius.
Boil the broad beans for a few minutes until cooked and still bright green. Add to iced water to arrest cooking or rinse under cold tap water in a colander until cold.
Saute the leeks until soft over a medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure they don’t brown.
Remove the leeks from the pan and fry the bacon for a few minutes until approachin crisp.
Add the leeks to the bacon with the broad beans, increase the heat and cook until the broad beans are warmed through.
Add the cream, stir thoroughly and add the roquefort.
Spoon the mixture into the potato skins and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
While cooking peel & grate the beetroot, I grated half on the fine part and half on the thicker part to get a mixed texture. Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic.
Serve you potato skins straight from the oven with the balsamic on the side.

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I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

10 Comments

  1. Grasmere Farm is also my favourite! Have you had their souk sausages? yummy! Unfortunately, they’re not at the Acton market but the Ealing one.

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  2. I love the lime green broad beans. It looks like such a cheerful dish :)

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  3. I’m confused. You planned to make ‘a lactose free’ meal, so you bought “Buffalo milk, goats butter & sheeps cheese”.

    Surely, these all contain lactose.

    Reply

  4. Hi Liuzhou, it’s quite complex. I was referred to a dietician when I was diagnosed and we went through it in detail. She did advise that there is a sugar in goats milk that’s quite similar, and some sufferers occasionally react to this although this is rarely an issue for me. There’s also different severities of lactose intolerance, some people can have some cows milk products like yogurt and hard cheese but I can’t have any atall, I react to all of them. If you would like more info I could send you some links.

    Su-lin, thanks for the tip, I’ll try those. We regularly buy their sausages, just not that one yet :-)

    Supercharz, thanks! Congrats on your pic of the week on Word of Mouth too.

    Reply

  5. Ah, you have my sympathy for your poor soured buffalo milk and your efforts to have lactose-free mac and cheese. Glad to see you pulled it off eventually.

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  6. Broad beans, bacon and potato – can there be a happier marriage?? This is inspired – my potato skins never get further than bacon, onion and cheese. Must try this while the broad beans last. They are my total favourite!

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  7. “Lactose is a bovine disaccharide and is only found in cows milk.”

    “Lactose is the most important carbohydrate of the milk of most species. It is biosynthesised in the mammary gland. Concentrations in milk vary strongly in different species. Lactose is the first and only carbohydrate every newborn mammal (including humans) consumes in significant amounts.”

    http://www.lactose.com/thumbs_1.html

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  8. Hi liuzhou,

    Yes, that’s true, but most lactose intolerants don’t react to it and it’s not understood why.

    Please see:

    “Milk from goats, sheep and buffalo (mozzarella) also contains lactose and can be equally problematic, but may sometimes be tolerated, although we don’t understand why.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/ask_the_doctor/milkintolerance.shtml

    I know a few lactose intolerants and all can tolerate goats milk and as I said in an earlier comment, I was advised by a dietitian that they are not exactly the same and it’s ok for some people.

    This site is not intended to be a lactose free resource, it’s a food blog about food I eat at home and in London.

    Out of interest, are you yourself lactose intolerant?

    Niamh

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