This meal started off as cauliflower cheese but morphed into this Crunchy Veggie Bake when I spotted a box of Finn Crisp from my Degustabox. It worked really well actually so I'll be doing this again, maybe on fish pie or shepherd's pie.
Crunchy Veggie Bake
1 small cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 medium potatoes, no need to peel, diced
cheese sauce made with 1 pint milk (either from a packet or home made)
2 large onions
1/2tsp garlic pepper
1/2tsp smoked paprika
150g grated cheese
6 Finn Crisp
First, boil up some vegetables in a pan of salted water - I used potatoes, carrots and cauliflower but feel free to have a clearout in the veg drawer of the fridge ! When just cooked (about 10-12 minutes), drain and reserve.
In the meantime, fry up some bacon lardons (or pancetta) and roughly chopped onions. Remove from heat, remove excess fat (drain in the colander from the vegetables) and reserve.
Prepare the cheese sauce. If making your own, melt a large knob of butter in a saucepan and stir in a couple of tablespoonfuls of flour. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring so it doesn't burn, then add a dash of milk and mix to a smooth paste before adding the rest of the pint of milk. Bring to the boil, stirring continually with a whisk or fork, then reduce the heat, stir in a little of the cheese and continue to cook for a couple of minutes until it thickens. Stir in the garlic pepper and smoked paprika.
Return the vegetables and the bacon/onions to the pan and toss gently until the cheese sauce has covered everything. Pour the whole lot into an ovenproof dish.
Put the Finn Crisp in a sandwich bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
Sprinkle the grated cheese and then the crushed Finn Crisp over the top. Pop in the oven for 1/2 hour until the cheese has melted and the veggies are piping hot.
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