Food Bytes with Sarah Patterson



FB: How would you rate your cooking skills?

MH: Solid. Always expanding my repertoire (rotation probably the better word for it!) but am slow – so I like to cook when I don’t have to watch the clock.

FB: What is your signature dish?

MH: Dead heat between my lamb shepherds pie, which is stacked with veggies and topped with a layer of peas then sweet potato, and chocolate pudding.

FB: If you could only have one more meal, what would it be?

MH: A roast with lots of veggies and all the trimmings then golden syrup dumplings.

FB: What is your favourite TV food show and who is your favourite TV food person?

MH: I’ve recently discovered Mary Berry, her show is gorgeous and recipes are quite do-able. I’m also a fan of Donna Hay and Justine Schofield.

FB: What is your favourite food?

MH: Carbs! If it’s white it’s guaranteed to be equal parts delicious and not good for you. Think pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, etc!

FB: What is your favourite drink?

MH: A strong cup of tea.

FB: Which 5 people would you most like to invite to dinner?

MH: Don Bradman, Serena Williams, Bruce McAvaney, Ita Buttrose and Kim Kardashian

FB: Do you have a kitchen tip for us?

MH: Get a slow cooker. It’s an investment in your money and time. You can cook so many things in it, you just need to be organised. Plus, nothing beats a warming slow-cooked dinner during winter.



I’m with Megan when it comes to carbs! As soon as winter rolls around, I tend to make like a bear and hibernate, getting warmth in equal parts from my trusty electric blanket and my mum’s famous leek and potato soup. But if it’s real carb comfort you’re after, a nice big slab of potato and leek casserole is the way to go. My favourite kinds of casseroles are the chunky, hearty, creamy ones you can throw together using a can of soup, and this one from ticks all the boxes.



800g Sebago potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 leek, trimmed, halved, washed and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

400g piece double smoked ham, diced (you can find this at the supermarket deli)

535g can country chicken soup

100g grated tasty cheese

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius (160 fan forced). Grease a six cup capacity baking dish. Peel and boil potatoes for 12 to 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Cool for a few minute then slice. Heat oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add leek and cook, stirring, until softened. Add garlic and ham. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in soup. Gently stir through potatoes, season with pepper and place in baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.

Potato, leek and bacon bake. (Photo supplied)