I love food. I’m not sure if I love food, or the act of eating. But I’m pretty sure I love eating more than I love food. Otherwise I’d probably worship peppers and pray to salamis like a freaking freakazoid freak.

When some people cook this is what they do:

1. Look at recipe
2. Gather ingredients
3. Measure
4. Measure
5. Measure
6. Get a bit anal about something or rather
7. Look at recipe
8. Start cooking
9. Look at recipe
10. Shout “Get the hell outta my kitchen, boy.”
OR
“Uh-uh, you ain’t wearing that. I can see your tits from here a mile away!”

(or something like that)

But the food usually comes out pretty alright. No biggie. You know what home cooked meals are like. Mom or wife gets sick of cooking and it becomes cooking as a responsibility. Taste and garnishing goes out the window, and then you eat for the sake of having to live! No fun, no fun at all.

However, I believe that when you have lost the pleasure of eating, it’s time to die. As the French say (cue French music and Eiffel Tower in the BG) “Food….it’s the symphony of life”. I dont know which French said it but I sure didn’t make that up. HONEST!

Anyway, as I was saying, food is simply one of the best pleasures in life so now you’re expecting me to give you some funky fancy modern fusion Asian-Western-Ethnic cooking tip eh? Oh, the build-up! When I cook, this is what I do:

1. Open a bottle of wine (No vintage rubbish for me. A nice South Australian’ll do me just fine. And I aint talking about the women!)
2. Open fridge
3. Take everything out
4. Try and play Food-Tetris with the stuff and see what and what fit best
5. Sip wine (a sip, depending on your culture, varies in size and volume)
6. Turn on the radio (or iTunes) and get a li’l bitta samba, and a bitta venga
7. Decide on what I’m going to cook
8. Sip more wine (see point 5)
9. Up the volume, Up the tempo
10. Sippy, sippy
11. Pri pair de food
12. Take large swig of booze
13. Put eberyting in oven
14. DANCE DANCE DANCE!

So, after having a very good time, some time last week, I’m going to share with you a recipe, straight out of my kitchen. I call it Mark’s Potato Pie (spare me the jokes!)

Here’s what you need:
Potatoes (the £1.50 for 4 type) – some
Mushroom (The big-ish ones) – some
Dried herbs from the supermarket – normally comes in bottles
Mature cheddar cheese – I used half a block.
A tip for buying le cheddar: Don’t buy those Cathedral City fancy named cheddar. Cheddar is a farmhouse, old-skool kinda cheese. Get it in the supermarkets, those without the fancy packaging. AND definitely not from Lidl. They do great food, but not cheddar. If you can, get cheddar from the farm! Or just the regular supermarket own label stuff is alright. I’ve tried Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s, Waitrose’s and M&S’s – they’re alright. Any other supermarket, you’re on your own.
Salt and Pepper – As much as tickles your fancy. And let’s stop using this lo-sodium nonsense. Nasty, nasty stuff. That’s what pants must taste like.
Garlic – one
Olive oil – Lots

Here’s what you do (feel free to add wine wherever you like)
1. Peel potatoes and slice them. About 1/2 a centimeter should do it
2. Toss in salt and pepper. Leave
3. Slice mushrooms to the size of the potato slices. This is the tricky bit. If the potatoes are significantly bigger than the mushrooms, it will taste nothing like mushrooms. And if your mushrooms are bigger than the potatoes, you really have to stop smoking pot!
4. Smash garlic and rub the insides of an oven-safe dish. The dish has to be at least 3 inches deep, otherwise, you’re in trouble when mom/granny/wife/pet fish/girlfriend/boyfriend finds the doo-doo your dish has done!
5. Lace the dish with olive oil.
6. Lay the potato slices AROUND the walls of the dish (I learned my lesson – I WILL take pictures next time) so that they look like you’re preparing an egg salad – each slice overlapping the next. You’ll find a void in the middle. chuck all the small insignificant potato slices in there.
7. Sprinkle fresh herbs and olive oil on this layer.
8. After you’ve done one layer, arrange mushrooms, similar fashion, but a bit trickier, so I just dumped a whole bunch and lay them flat. Then sprinkle salt and pepper. I like the taste of mushrooms so I used only pepper instead.
9. Lay the remaining potatoes on top of mushroom layer to form another potato layer.
10. Finally, the cheese. Seriously, not the whole block! Use slices. I’ve had people from all over the world ask me, “How do you measure cheese?”. And after thinking about this and doing my research, I’ve finally found the answer: your preference for cheese, will be determined by your pinky. So regardless of body size whether you’re a sumo wrestler or Paris Hilton, your preference for amount of cheese is half your pinky’s width. Yup. For this recipe, Look at how thick your pinky is, half that, and that’s how thick you cheddar slices should be! Now once you’ve sliced them, pile them onto the top potato layer and make sure there are no holes.
11. Leave it in the oven ’til the cheese is brownish and looks like as thought it has burnt and has stuck to the sides of the dish. Believe me, this is PERFECT, and it will come off easily, and it’s so so yummy!

You can serve with a side of olives, mushroom and sundried tomato antipasto, or just have it on its own. Have a bottle of nice Cloudy Bay, a couple of Kangaroo’s testicles, and have a G’Day, Mate!

Tell me what you think of the recipe when you’ve tried it.


  1. Grace

    I love the way this post was written. It seems we approach cooking similarly. I’ll have to try the recipe. I’m assuming these are standard button mushrooms?

  2. M

    For me, that’s the ONLY way to cook.
    I’ve tried several types of mushrooms with this recipe – some I can’t mention here. :)
    I’ve tried standard, Portobello, Porcini, Oyster and Japanese Eringi. My fave is the combination of Eringi and Portobello.
    Eringi for the texture and Portobello for the flavour. Porcini was a bit too strong, and it took away the taste of the potatoes.

  3. Grace

    Oh okay, that’s awesome! Thanks! For some reason button just pops into my head whenever mushrooms are mentioned, and I was thinking they wouldn’t make it the most exciting. I imagine Porcini would be too strong.




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