Thursday, January 22, 2015

Baked Ham Broccoflower and Potato in Cheese Sauce

Slicing all the potatoes takes longer than you might think. Then par boil and drain them. Prepare the brocoflower or cauliflower and put in the steamer till it begins to soften. Then run it under cold water to stop cooking. Drain completely. Thinly slice the ham then julienne the slices. Dice an onion or two and a few cloves of garlic. Sweat the onions.

Spread the ham in the bottom of a 9x13 pan and spread the sweated onions evenly over top.  Spread the par cooked potatoes evenly over the pan. Lay the broccoflower over the potatoes and drop some grated cheddar over them. 

Cheese Sauce

In the pot used to sweat the onions, put 2-3 tsp flour and 1/4 cup butter and the the garlic. Melt the butter and let the flour bubble for a minute to cook off the raw taste. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in 2 cups milk. Put back on heat and bring to simmer then turn down. Stir in 2 cups grated cheddar and stir till melted and smooth. I added a few drops lemon juice, not sure if it was enough to boost the flavour but I didn't want to curdle the sauce at this point. I expected the extra old cheddar and ham to provide most of the salt but I tasted to see how much it needed. Milky paste, definitely needs salt. I added 1/2 teaspoon salt and tasted it again. Cheese Sauce! Success! I poured the cheese sauce over the broccoflower and potato and put it in the oven at 350ºF for 45 minutes to an hour.


1 tbsp olive/canola oil
1-2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt

Whisk, toss the greens and plate.

This was one of my best cheese sauces. The final taste depends entirely on the ingredients. Extra old cheddar tastes best. With cheese, the smell and the taste can be quite different so don't judge a cheese till you taste it. It needs to be good quality, Kraft isn't good enough. Tillamook probably is. If not sure, ask the grocer which cheddar is better than Kraft? Price is not always the best indicator. If the cheese tastes good, the sauce will taste good. I'm using Armstrong Extra Old which goes on sale for $7 for 600gm from time to time, then I buy two or three.

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