Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Sweetcorn And Broccoli Bake

Serves 2

1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp oil
100g broccoli, cut into bite size florets
200g can sweetcorn, drained
1 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp plain flour
125ml milk
50g cheddar cheese, grated
black pepper
200g creamed celeriac or potato

Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Cook the onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add broccoli and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Put this mixture into a casserole dish with the sweetcorn.
Make the cheese sauce (below) and mix this in. Season with pepper. Place tablespoons of creamed celeriac or potato around the sides of the casserole dish. Cook in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.

Cheese Sauce
Melt the margarine in a small saucepan and then take the pan away from the heat. Add the flour, stir well and return to a gentle heat, stirring continuously. Add a little of the milk and keep stirring to ensure lumps do not appear. Keep adding milk slowly to thin the mixture until all the milk is used and continue cooking for several minutes to ensure the flour is cooked. Add the grated cheese to the sauce and stir well.

I love cheese sauce. But then I love cheese, so that's not entirely surprising. I do tend to use butter rather than margarine. I also prefer to keep the pan near the heat, although raised an inch above it as I stir in the flour. I always find that once you've made white sauce the only thing you need to measure is the butter, the rest of it is easy. You can tell how much flour you need, if you just keep adding until you have the roux you want. Same with the milk, you know how thick you want your sauce to be, and you just add enough milk for that. Although for cheese sauce I do make it thinner before I add the cheese as the cheese always thickens it somewhat.

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