When I said to the Madhouse Mini-testers that I was planning on making Cauliflower Cheese for tea, they all groaned. Fair enough, let's try another vegetable - leeks au gratin? Surprisingly, this was met with cheers. Wow, that was easier than I thought ! Before they could change their minds, I chopped, washed and cooked up some leeks in some salted water.
While that was cooking, I made up a packet of Schwartz Cheddar Cheese Sauce mix (that I'd received in my Year of Flavour With Herbs and Spices goody box). I love cooking from scratch but also love using short-cuts when time is short, and packet cheese sauce mix is a store cupboard staple here at The Madhouse. It always looks a bit lumpy when you mix in the milk but ...
... a few minutes on the cooker, stirring continuously, and it thickens up into a lovely creamy cheesy sauce with zero effort.
I added some chopped ham to the cooked leeks. The flavours go really well together and the colour contrast looks pretty too, which is always important when trying to tempt the kids to eat vegetables.
I poured over the cheese sauce and mixed it all up so that the leeks were evenly covered and the ham was distributed throughout the whole dish.
A sprinkling of grated cheese and I popped it under the grill for 20 minutes until the cheese was bubbling and golden brown.
All three of the Madhouse Mini-testers asked for seconds, which I was very pleased about. Even the grown-ups liked it and decided it made a nice change to cauliflower cheese too so this is definitely one that we'll be having again.
Other blogposts you may be interested in :