This evening we made Super Mashers with Chicken Cordon Bleu Hash, which is a variation on the pasta bakes of the last two nights. The bechamel sauce is mixed in with mashed potatoes, the mash is put into a casserole dish. Strips of ham steak and chicken breast which have been fried in olive oil with the pan deglazed with white wine and thyme sprinkled on the top form the middle layer, and the grated cheese goes on the top. The casserole is browned under the grill until the cheese melts.
L and I disagreed on this meal. He enjoyed it, I contest that he was just really hungry. It wasn’t a bad meal but it tasted like newly divorced family man who’s never really cooked before comfort food. At least it tastes like the food we ate at a newly divorced friend’s house. My problem with the meal is two-fold-
Why go to the bother of making a bechamel sauce, only to mix it with mashed potatoes? Don’t bother messing up another pan to create a sauce that needs to be attended to- just put the individual ingredients, minus the flour, directly in with the potatoes- fat, liquid, seasoning, nutmeg. Easy. Save ten minutes plus clearing up time. Tastes the same.
Any dish requiring more than one meat source is just excessive. This would have been no better or worse a meal if it was made with either ham or chicken. Both is just a bit grim.
The redeeming feature, to my mind is the cheese topping on the potatoes- but really, it was not worth the effort. Tomorrow we move on to Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce and Spicy Chopped Salad, which at least doesn’t involve making a white sauce- it’s been 6 days in a row now, I am done with the mixing of the flour and the fat. Unless it involves muffins or pancakes, I hasten to add. Our tasks for tomorrow revolve around painting the lounge, so we can hopefully move in some of our stuff out of the garage on Sunday. We completely forgot that the neighbours are having a barbeque for us so we can meet the rest of the neighbours in the hood, but having been reminded we will be doing that. Maybe we can distribute Rachael Ray recipes and see if anyone volunteers to make some of the upcoming dishes for us.