Chardy cheese (V) my variation of Hugh Fearnley Whittigstall recipe
Original recipe uses 750g of chard only ,but I do this with Potatoes chard mix, and use the skins in the topping.
I have got a lot of Chard in the Garden at the moment an Autumnal favourite,definitely recommended easy to grow,pest resistant.
This hearty dish gives chard the cauliflower cheese treatment
About 450g chard, 300g new potatoes salad variety[eg Charlotte,anya]
Small knob of butter
About 50g breadcrumbs
A little Extra Virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
300ml whole milk
½ onion, peeled and cut in two
1 bay leaf, nutmeg,fresh thyme sprig
A few black peppercorns
20g unsalted butter
20g plain flour
75g strong, mature cheddar, grated
25g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), or mature hard goat's cheese, grated
¼ tsp English mustard
Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5 and lightly grease a shallow, ovenproof dish.
For the sauce, put the milk into a saucepan with the onion, bay and peppercorns. Bring to just below simmering point, turn off the heat add nutmeg srinkle and thyme sprig leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes, and an hour or two, ideally.
Meanwhile, separate the chard leaves from the stalks, and cut the stalks into 1.5cm slices. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, drop in the leaves and blanch for a minute or two, until just wilted. Remove the leaves with tongs, drain and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water with your hands, then roughly chop. Meanwhile, drop the chopped stalks into the boiling water and blanch for three to four minutes, until just tender. Drain, toss with a knob of butter, season and spread over the base of the oven dish.
Par boil potatoes for 10 mins , peel of and reserve skin when sufficiently cool. Chop potoes into large bite size and add to the Chard stalks in Dish
If the infused milk has cooled completely, warm it gently, then strain into a jug. Melt the butter for the sauce in a medium saucepan over a fairly low heat, then stir in the flour to form a smooth paste (a roux). Cook gently, stirring frequently, for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and add a third of the milk. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or whisk until you have a thick, smooth paste. Add the rest of the milk in one or two lots, stirring it in until smooth. Return the sauce to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring. Let it bubble for two minutes, stirring every now and then, to "cook out" any taste of raw flour, then turn the heat right down. Add the cheeses and mustard, stir gently until they melt into the sauce – don't let the sauce boil, or it may curdle – and season.Add a pinch of Vegetable stock maybe
Stir the chopped chard leaves into the hot cheese sauce and pour over the stalks in the dish.
Take the reserved potatoe skins and mix with bread crumbs
Scatter with the potatoe skin and breadcrumb mix,grate over Parmesan and cheddar,sprinkle Paprika and a trickle of oil, and bake for 20 minutes, until golden and bubbling.