CHEESY HAM & POTATO BAKE (Serves 2-3)
4-5 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced into half inch pieces
4 spring onions, sliced
10-15g salted butter
2 tbsp plain flour
300ml skimmed milk (you may not need it all)
100ml double cream
1 tsp plain Philadelphia cream cheese
a scant pinch of sea salt
a good pinch of ground black pepper
a quarter tsp of grated nutmeg
1 tsp English mustard powder
250g of mixed cheeses, grated (I used Gouda and mature Cheddar)
200g thick sliced ham, cut into half inch pieces
30g of grated cheese (I used Red Leicester)
chopped chives to serve.
Place the potato dice into a saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes until just slightly softened, then drain and tip the potato into the baking dish.
Slice the spring onions and add them to the potato in the baking dish.
In a non-stick pan, melt the butter and once melted, add the flour and stir well. Cook over a moderate heat for 1-2 minutes, then add a little milk and remove the pan from the heat. Stir the milk into the butter/flour mixture until lump free, then return to a reduced heat and add a little more milk. Stir that in and add the cream, cream cheese, seasoning, nutmeg and mustard powder and stir through.
As the sauce heats, make sure to keep stirring to prevent it from catching on the bottom of the pan. You need a fairly thick sauce at this stage, you can always add more milk once the cheese is melted, if necessary.
Add the mixed grated cheese and remove from the heat as it melts. You need the sauce to be fairly thick, but still of pouring consistency. When you are happy with the sauce, plate it on one side.
Add the ham pieces to the potato/onion mixture and stir through. Pour the cheese sauce over and give a light stir, just to make sure the sauce is right the way through the potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and place into a pre-heated oven at 180degF/350degC/Gas 4 for 45 mins or until the potatoes are soft and cooked through.
Sprinkle with chopped chives for colour and serve.