Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cheddar Ham and Cauliflower Casserole with French Bread

The first bite of this plate I said, "Oh my God this is absolutely delicious!" and put my fork down and took a picture 'cause I forgot to before I dug in.

French Bread - turn on oven light, it warms the oven perfectly for rising bread and making yogurt

2/3 cup water - warmed
1 tsp yeast

Stir in the yeast and give it a couple of minutes to get started then add:

1 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Mix it into a dough by hand and kneed it for 10 minutes or use a dough hook and start slow, stop intermittently, then turn it up once the dough is made. The machine can slap the dough around and kneed it beautifully if you have just the right water content. I found I couldn't add water after the dough is made so it is easier to carefully measure the water and flour to get it right. This time I had to kneed it for 4-5 minutes by hand to get a nice soft dough. I had just a little excess flour.

Coat dough with olive oil and let rise in oven with light on for an hour or till doubled. Punch down once, form into baguette and put back into oven to double again. When it's risen, remove dough. Heat oven to 400F and bake for 25-30 minutes till browned.

Cheese Sauce

1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp beef stock powder
2-3 cups milk

In medium sauce pan melt butter and mix flour into paste. Turn up heat and let it bubble a little to cook off the flour taste. Turn off heat. Whisk in beef stock powder, two tablespoons of milk, then two more till you have two cups or more milk and it's not lumpy. Put back on heat and bring to simmer. If it's too thick add a little more milk. 

1 1/2 cups grated extra old cheddar ( Armstrong is good )

Add cheddar to sauce, stir it in till it all melts and smooths out. 


6 medium potatoes peeled, thinly sliced
3 onions thinly sliced
1 cauliflower cut into florets
600gm ham cut into small pieces

Cook the potatoes till softened but not mushy, drain. Steam cauliflower till softened but not mushy, drain. Fry the onions till caramelized.  In lasagne pan spread potatoes evenly across bottom. Spread caramelized onions over the potatoes. Spread ham over the onions. Spread the cauliflower over the ham. Pour cheese sauce over all and put in the oven at 375F for 30-40 minutes.

Today I also set up my new Patriot Node wireless hard drive & file server. Went to the library to get a book I'm using to teach my neighbour to draw and bought him art supplies to get started and went grocery shopping. So this meal really doesn't take all day to make!

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