Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Baked Vegetables in White Sauce

Let me tell you a little of how we spend our weekends. Now we aren't the kind of family that plans a variety of activities to do over a weekend - we are much to lazy for that. In fact, we are the kind of family that spends its weekends lounging on the sofa, listening to music or reading some books and not moving a muscle for as long as we can help it.


Yes, we do our fair share of going out. But a lot of it is related to food and eating out. For eg. we go very often to the beach in the mornings because we love having breakfast at the South Indian restaurant there. Or we end up at the Botanical Gardens because having lunch at a restaurant there over a couple of beers on a hot, sunny afternoon seems almost magical. You get the drift right?



But much as we enjoy eating out, come Sunday evenings and we crave for a dinner that is very simple to make and very hearty. Most of the times, we settle for some piping hot aloo parathas or a hearty spanish omelette. Occasionally, I make kathi rolls from some leftovers.


Often, I dig up and pick out bits and bobs of vegetables buried in my crisper and throw them together into a low fat white sauce.





Now I know what you are thinking - that 'low fat' white sauce is an oxymoron. Well, not quite.

Based on an idea I saw on Raaga's blog, I make my white sauce with skimmed milk and low fat cheese slices. The resultant sauce is adequately thick and creamy and perfect for a light and satisfying Sunday evening vegetable casserole.






Ingredients:

Butter: 1 tbsp
All purpose flour: 2.5 tbsps
Skimmed milk: 2.5 cups (the milk should be at room temperature)
Low fat cheese slices: 3
Salt, pepper: to taste
Mustard paste: 1 tsp


Mixed vegetables: approximately 2 cups ( I used 1/2 cup each of green peas, broccoli and cauliflower; 1 carrot and 1 potato )


Grated cheddar cheese: 2 tbsps


Method:

Steam all the vegetables and set aside. You might need to cook them separately as the cooking time for every vegetable varies. I zap them in the microwave for a few minutes).


Melt butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and mix it well. Cook on low heat for about 4-5 minutes, without allowing the flour to turn brown. I take my pan off the burner a few times when doing this in order to avoid browning of the flour.


Stirring constantly, slowly add the milk in a thin stream and in small batches. (Here's what I do to avoid lumps in my white sauce - transfer the flour from the pan into a mug and add a little milk and mix it thoroughly. Then transfer it back to the pan and add the rest of the milk. The result? Completely lump-free sauce)


Keep stirring and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, add all the salt, pepper powder and the mustard paste. Finally add the cheese slices and mix well till the cheese melts. Simmer for a few more minutes till the sauce thickens.


Arrange the vegetables in a baking dish, I use my 9" pie dish. Pour the sauce over it, sprinkle the grated cheese over it and bake in the oven (pre-heat the oven first) at 200 deg C till the cheese starts to brown.


Serve with some brown bread.


Taking this vegetable casserole to Nupur's Blog Bites - 9, the theme this time is Holiday Buffet.

21 comments:

  1. Looks very tempting that I want t try it rightaway if it not been after dinnertime...Beautiful presentation as well

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  2. Wow.. looks simply delicious.. and beautiful presentation !!

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  3. Wow looks awesome ..cheesy.. wish I could eat some right away..

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  4. Oh we just had dinner with this...but I used little cream and some bread crumb. but I like yours mine became little reddish (due the brown bread crumb) after baking. lovely clicks.

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  5. looks very creamy delicious and tempting.

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  6. Sooo inviting and very cheesy dish, yummm!

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  7. The veggie and cheese in one dish would be quick dinner !

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  8. I want to try this one..never made white sauce before..not even pasta.
    nice way to use the leftover vegetables

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  9. Thats a quite simple yet exotic treat, Aqua.

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  10. Looks yummy!! This is a dish I make often in the winter!!

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  11. Sounds nice and simple. Will try soon!

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  12. Now this looks very tempting too Aqua!..with those buns I am sure it was a deadly combo!..:)

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  13. WOW!!!!
    looks so appetizing!!!!
    A sure try for me...
    and thanks for the tips....

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  14. Hey
    Its me again....
    Where did you get those lovely stripped tissue napkins...
    I just love the look of them....

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  15. Hi,
    This is shambhavi, one of the readers. Could you kindly suggest where from did you get those strips on tissues? They are lovely :)
    The dish as all of yours is good too.
    Regards,
    Shambhavi

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  16. shambhavi, thanks for reading my blog and your words of appreciation. I purchased the serviettes from Isetan in Singapore.

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  17. This recipe looks just like what I was looking for. The only question I have is what other dishes can be made to accompany this one, if I am serving it to a bunch of friends who will come over for dinner. I can use this dish and pasta for my family dinner but would like a couple of more items to offer when I get company. Thanks for any info you could provide.

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  18. Hi Lily. I've made this once for a small sit down dinner for 6. I served this casserole, some roast chicken, lamb stew with some dinner rolls and finished it off with a risotto.

    I have a recipe for chiccken stew, I replaced the chicken with lamb.
    http://servedwithlove.blogspot.com/2009/06/chicken-stew.html

    Here's the link for the roast chicken http://servedwithlove.blogspot.com/2009/01/slow-roast-chicken-with-red-wine.html

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It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!

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