Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ham and Cauliflower Quebecois

Fern brings this recipe from Trois Rivieres, Quebec where it was a family favorite. It's very simple, ham, potatoes and cauliflower in a caramelized onion cheddar cheese sauce.

Start with cooked ham, par boiled potatoes and a steamed head of cauliflower.  Take several 1/8th inch thick slices of ham. Lay them in the pan overlapping slightly so sauce can get under the meat. Next spread the sliced potatoes over the ham. Break the head of cauliflower into florets and slice the large ones in half.  Spread the cauliflower over the potatoes. Now the cheese sauce that ties it all together.

Thinly slice an onion so there are even width strips and caramelize in a sauce pan with a tablespoon or two of oil. When the onions are golden sprinkle 2 heaping teaspoons of flour over them and toss the lot to coat.  Cook briefly to remove the raw flour taste then remove the pan from the heat.  Add 1/4 cup chicken stock and 1/4 cup milk and stir to smooth out the lumps. Add more milk a little at a time till you have added a cup and 1/2 and put it back on medium heat. Add a bit more if you think you need it but not too much or it won't thicken. If it's too thick add milk. If it's gluey add chicken stock. Now it's ready to add the cheese!

Slowly add 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, stirring occasionally till it's all melted.  Taste the sauce and add a pinch of salt if it needs it. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and put the pan in the oven at 350ยบ. It only needs to heat through so twenty to thirty minutes is plenty.  Serve it up and enjoy this delicious comfort food.

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