Hygge Gratin, with Bacon and Mushroom

Comfort ‘hygge’ food, to me, includes, cheese and bacon. Therefore, I’ve come up with this little winter warmer. That you can serve as a side, perhaps with the ‘hygge’ salmon salad, or on it’s own is also amazing. This is a bit naughty and probably doesn’t fit with everyone’s January diet plans, but I thought I’d indulge a bit before I check into a chocolate rehab centre, I’m hoping these exist. Plus, my last blog was a salad, so I feel the balance is right, which is what ‘hygge’ is all about.

The only downside to this dish is that you have to use 3 pans. I bet the Danes would just chill out under candle light smugly waiting for each part to cook, but I haven’t got my personality around to being this ‘hygge’ yet. As I get hangry, which is angry when hungry.

Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side.


2 baking potatoes, slices into 1cm slices, leave the skin on

10 chestnut mushrooms, cut into thin sllices

3 pieces of good quality bacon, chopped into small pieces with a pair of scissors

Cheese Sauce

1.2 litres (2 pints) whole fat milk

50g (2oz) butter

50g  (20z) plain flour

250g (8oz) mature cheddar cheese, grated

Salt and pepper

Teaspoon of Paprika


Put the sliced potato into a pan of boiling water, add a pinch of salt, set your timer for 10 minutes.

In a frying pan, fry the chopped up bacon and mushrooms, add a shake of oregano. No oil is needed, as there will be oils from the bacon. Fry until the bacon is cooked.

Meanwhile, start the cheese sauce, the instructions in detail are in my Cheesy, Pleasy Lasagne recipe. Add the paprika before you add the cheese.

This should all take 10 minutes.

Then, carefully construct the gratin. Layer potatoes, then a third of the sauce, then the bacon and mushroom mixture. Do this so it has 3 layers, and then finish with a layer of potatoes and a grating of cheese.

Put this under the grill for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has gone golden and the potatoes on top a bit crispy.

This is on the table in 20 minutes, which probably isn’t very ‘hygge’ but it’s still impressive, no?


You’re Such a Sweet Potato

Basically, the method for a baked sweet potato is the same as a white potato, but it needs less time and more heat. Sweet potatoes also have a lot more health benefits and vitamins.

Goat’s cheese is amazing with this, or hummus, or beans and cheese.

Serves: 1

Oven: Gas Mark 220 


Sweet potato

Drizzle of olive oil

Sea salt


Preheat the oven.

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and run into the sweet potato with your hands. Coat the sweet pot in seat salt.

Add to a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes.

I Courgette It…

I found some lovely mini yellow courgettes at my local fruit and veg market. It would look really colourful as courgetti, but I decided to use a potato peeler and do thin ribbons, for this side dish. I served this with my roast potatoes and it was a match made in heaven.

The key to this dish is to layer the vegetables. Tomatoes on the bottom, as they are the juicest, and then cover with the courgette strips and then the bacon pieces. Make sure you use smoked bacon. If you’re a veggie, then cut up random bits of haloumi instead of bacon, it will absorb the flavours and crisp up in the same way.

Serves: 4

Oven: Gas mark 220


Punnet of cherry tomatoes to cover the bottom of a baking tray, cut in halves.

2 courgettes, to layer over the tomatoes.

4 strips of smoked bacon.

Salt and Pepper.


Preheat the oven.

Later the halved tomatoes on the bottom of the oven tray.

Later the ribbons of courgette on top.

Cut strips of bacon up randomly on top, with scissors.

Roast in the oven for 30 mins. 15 minutes in drain off the excess tomatoe juice. If you’re doing potatoes add the juice to them.

Best Roast Potatoes 

These ingredients and method never fail. It fills the house with the most delicious smell. Even the fussy and traditional roast potato people have loved these. So they are a definate crowd pleaser. I always make more than I need and then eat them the next day cold, or in a bubble and squeak.

Serves: 4

Oven: Gas Mark 220


4 large roast potatoes

2 dollops of coconut oil

Handful of rosemary

Salt and pepper

2 large cloves of garlic.


Preheat the oven.

Peel and cut the potatoes, add to boiling water for 12 minutes.

Put 2 dollops of coconut oil into an oven dish, add salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and add back to the pan, bash the sides in the colendar, these will go crispy.

To the oil mixture add the finely cut up rosemary and the halved garlic, don’t worry about peeling the garlic.

Then pour over the oil mixture and make sure all the potatoes are coated. 

Later a single layer of the potatoes in an oven tray.

Roast in the oven for 40 minutes. Give a little shake after 20 minutes.

Rice, Rice, Baby

This is simple and delicious. It’s just a few added ingredients, but it transforms the rice into a colourful, tasty treat. You could try dried cranberries instead of pomegranate. 

It’s a great stored in the fridge for lunch the next day.

Serves 8, you can adjust for smaller portions

Cooking time: 30 minutes


Basmati rice, or any rice of your choice, enough for 8 people

300ml Chicken stock, or vegetable 

1 pomegranate 

1 onion

2 shakes of paprika

Salt and pepper

Pistachios, crushed


Put rice on to cook, and 10 minutes before it cooked start the below.

Fry a finely diced onion in a little coconut oil, add paprika and seasoning. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.

Add the pistachios and fry until golden for a further 5 minutes.

Drain the rice and add the mixture with the chicken stock to the rice and stir through well.

Finish with pomegranate seeds and some ripped up basil.