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Friday, September 24, 2010

Holy Bechamel Sauce, Batman!

Tonight I was, again, a single girl.  Bud was hunting, so no Friday night on the couch with my sweetie.  I have eaten absolute junk all week; fast food, bad salads, tons of cheese (thanks Eva!) and nothing good and hearty.  So, with my plans for the evening needing a tune-up, I decided I was going to make something I haven't made in a while:  Scalloped Potatoes and Ham.  It is probably my favorite meal.   I always requested it  for my birthday supper as a kid, along with chocolate cake with chocolate frosting ( and not the stuff in a can!).  I must confess, I  always made it like my Mom made it, which kinda looked sad.  It tasted great, but visually was a mess.  She didn't make a sauce, just tossed flour, pats of butter, and S&P in with the layers of potatoes and ham. And no cheese at all--a crime against humanity! Then poured milk on it, stuck it in the oven, and baked it.   I loved it, and would eat until I was sweating potatoes.  (this is painful, by the way.)

Enter the bechamel.  I got a bug up my rear and decided I was going to make a bechamel sauce, toss in some cheese, and construct the all new Ms. Caboo version of Scalloped Potatoes and Ham.  Did I need to please anyone else?  Heck no.  Free reign for me in the kitchen.
The Mighty Bechamel Sauce

After a quick look at the internet for a recipe, I constructed my sauce.  Looked good.  Added some nutmeg and a little salt, and stirred until it was good and thick.  Too much cheese last night?  Oh no.  More cheese needed today!  I added about 2 cups of shredded swiss cheese and dumped in some shredded parmesan and stirred til it looked smooth.  I layered my sliced yukon gold potatoes,  ham, and sauce until the baking dish was full.  Popped it into the oven for about 70 minutes--I think.   I forgot how long I had it in; 45 minutes didn't cook the taters in the middle, so I stuck it back in for another 20 minutes and upped the temp to 400 degrees.  Soon, it was bubbling merrily away, browning nicely.  And most importantly, it SMELLED the way it should!  

So can I tell you how fan-flippin'-tastic it tasted?  Hot and bubbly, with just enough cheese to make it taste even better.  Oh my gosh, what I have been missing all these years not making this dish this way.  The bechamel sauce isn't on my Cooking Bucket List, but I have conquered it anyway and the sky is the limit!  Hollandaise--holly who?  Not afraid of you!

Leftovers are in  the fridge; my tummy is full.  A great meal for a cool fall night, knowing I don't have to work tomorrow morning.  A side of roasted broccoli kept the casserole from being too much.    Here's to trying something new in the kitchen on a random night.  Most times I just eat the disaster I create, but tonight it was simply divine--happy happy girl!

1 comment:

  1. *starts searching the cupboards for ingredients* Now I know what to serve for dinner tonight -thanks for the idea!


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