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I like the recipe because it is really very simple and can be varied to suit what you have in the store cupboard and/or freezer. It is my own creation in response to my wife asking 'can we have something different?' when our resources were somewhat depleted. She was immediately taken with it and I now have to make it at least once a week, which is why I have found lots of ways to vary it! I must admit that I was very pleased with my first version and it is now one of my favourite dishes.
For the base
- 8 ounces steamed cauliflower florets
- 10 ounces steamed broccoli florets
- 8 ounces steamed diagonally sliced carrots (The vegetables should be only just cooked and retain a crunch because they will be cooked again in t)
- 10 ounces peeled prawns, defrosted
For the sauce
- 2 ounces flour (plain or s.f)
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 pint whole milk (NOT semi-skimmed)
- 8 ounces roulade soft cream cheese
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
For the topping
- 3 ounces fresh white breadcrumbs
- 3 ounces finely grated cheddar cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- preheat the oven to 180C/350F/GM4.
- Take an oval ceramic or ovenproof glass baking dish (9"x13" approx).
- Arrange the cauliflower and broccoli florets in the dish so that there is an attractive balance of colour.
- Next arrange the carrot slices between the cauli and broccoli, again ensuring an attractive balance of colour.
- Now scatter the prawns evenly over the whole dish.
- Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan and then stir in the flour, using a wooden spoon.
- Cook for two minutes, stirring all the time.
- Now start to add the milk a little at a time, stirring all the time.
- As the mixture thickens add more milk and keep stirring.
- As the sauce thickens you might like to change to a whisk since this will ensure a smoother sauce.
- When all the milk has been absorbed into the sauce, add the Roulade soft cheese and half the chives.
- Season with a little cayenne pepper.
- Stir and cook for two minutes before spooning carefully over the contents of the dish.
- Mix the breadcrumbs and the grated Cheddar cheese.
- Scatter evenly over the dish and bake in the oven for 25/30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Scatter the remaining chives over the dish before serving.
- Serve with steamed baby new potatoes, preferably Jersey Royals, if desired although this dish is sufficiently filling to stand alone.
- You do not need to be too strict about the quantities of vegetables so long as you fill the dish.
- BE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT OVERSTEAM THE VEGETABLES IN THE FIRST PLACE!
- They must retain a crunch.
- Be sure to refresh them in cold running water as soon as they are removed from the steamer.
- This not only stops further cooking but also helps to retain the vibrant colours which make the dish attractive to the eye.
- This dish is very versatile and is easily adapted to a vegetarian dish- simply leave out the prawns!
- I also like to use wafers of thinly sliced ham as an alternative to prawns and I tend to add a little garlic to the cheese sauce because I like it!
- 'Roulade'is a garlic and herb flavoured cream cheese and any similarly flavoured cream cheese may be substituted.