This month’s ingredient for JFI is our family favorite – potato and is being hosted by lovely Vaishali from her kitchen in Pune. I can’t imagine cooking without potato, most of you would probably agree with me on that. It can easily be dressed up or down, be it the simple potato fry (bhaji) or the more fancy Dum aloo Kashmiri; no other vegetable draws in such a crowd or flavor. I don’t want to go on and on about the sugunas (excellent quality) of potatoes, as you all know them very well.
So here’s my entry, Oven Roasted Potatoes with cheese sauce. This is an extremely simple dish, quick to make and can be served any meal of the day.
Potatoes - 3, thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed
Herbe de province or Italian seasoning– 2 tbsp
Salt and pepper – to taste
For the cheese sauce:
Butter – 1 tbsp
Flour – 1 tbsp
Milk (low fat) – 1 cup
Cheddar or Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese (low fat) – 1 cup grated
Tomato paste – 1 tbsp
- To make the fries: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut potatoes into long wedges. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet (I cover my baking sheet with an aluminum foil for easy clean up). Spray with non stick cooking spray and add the herbs, salt and pepper. Toss lightly with your fingers and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are crispy tender. Don’t forget to stir them once in between for uniform browning.
- Mean while make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan, whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes or until the flour loses the raw smell.
- Add tomato paste and mix well to incorporate into the roux. Slowly whisk in the milk, making sure there are no lumps formed in the sauce.
- Bring the milk to a gentle simmer, add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the cheese. Let the cheese melt, remove and keep aside.