When planning and cooking meals for the family I generally prepare from scratch using fresh products. However there are times when I use chilled pre-papared potato products as well. Usually this is for time saving purposes or I have run out of the fresh ingredients but sometimes just because we fancy a change.
Yesterday was one of those days when we fancied a change. I went to our local butchers to buy some meat for dinner. Fancying a change to our usual joint of meat I opted for lamb shanks. The boys are being a bit fussy when it comes to joints at present so lamb shanks seemed a good compromise. Once home I sat down to have a think about what we could have with the rest of the meal. We already had green vegetables and some corn on the cob but wanted some sort of potato to go with them. Erin's teething at present and has become very clingy which equally means cooking lots of different things is tricky. So a prepared dish would be ideal.
With this in mind I set off to my local Tesco store to see what they had in terms of chilled potato products. Once there I easily found the chilled product section in the second aisle. At first I have to say I was a bit shocked that there was only three potato products available as I know there have previously been a few more available. The choice I had was Potato Gratin, Roast Potato's or fresh mash.
|Chilled potato products available|
I'm not a big fan of mashed potato and I did not fancy having roast potato's with the meal, so I opted for Potato Gratin. I also thought it would be something that Rowan and Trystan would eat, as well as dad of 3 and even Erin would try some. Luc is an incredibly fussy eater and would be unlikely to try any. Both dad of 3 and myself are also very keen to try the children on different dishes in the attempt to help them eat more vegetables and eat healthily.
There was an offer on for 3 for 2 on side dishes so as well as the potato gratin I also bought two portions of cauliflower cheese. I thought it would also go nicely with the meal and as both myself, dad of 3, Rowan and Trystan love cauliflower cheese one would not be enough.
Once home I showed dad of 3 what I had bought and told him what I had planned for our meal as he would be helping to keep an eye on it if Erin became too clingy. Dad of 3 also felt the potato gratin would make a nice change. I have to admit I was really looking forward to the meal already. Dad of 3 and I decided we would roast the lamb shanks as apposed to cooking them in a gravy because there would be enough sauce with the meal from the potato gratin and cauliflower cheese. We got the lamb shanks ready to cook and the oven warmed to the right temperature and worked out when the potato gratin and cauliflower cheese would need to go in the oven. The green vegetables and the corn on the cob would be cooked on the hob about 15 minutes before the rest would be ready.
While the lamb shanks, potato gratin and cauliflower cheese were cooking I was able to see to Erin and help the older two with their homework. Dad of 3 got the green vegetables and corn on the cob ready to go on the hob and put them on when the time was right. He also ended up plating up the meal as Erin had fallen asleep on me!. I have to say it smelt delicious and tasted just as good. The boys even enjoyed it and Trystan even asked for seconds of the potato gratin so it was a big hit all around. We had also succeeded in having four of the five recommended five portions a day of vegetables and fruit. You can see more of my preparation of this meal by taking a look at my google + album here
|top left:roasted lamb shank, top right:cooked potato gratin, bottom left: green vegetables and bottom right finished meal plated up|