Sometimes I miss those days while I was in England to study. I went with all the preconcieved notions about the britishers being snoot and England not being so friendly country to be in. But still I made the decision to go there rather than any other country. To be really honest, while I lived there I actually fell in love with country. I found it a bit similar to India.
The weather, the food and their accent were the most delightful things. India’s quite diverse in its food culture, Britain is nowhere close but I was still impressed with the diversity they had. Mostly there are more of migrated foreign residents so the restaurant variety was pleasing to see from Thai, Chinese, Portuguese, Lebanese to Korean, American, Japanese etc. Food and the people around always bring warmth. I wonder why Britain is considered to be one of the rude countries or not very friendly. My experience there has always been overwhelming. I love their accent, it’s somewhat like India that the dialect and accent varies as you go from north to south. The people are certainly very helpful and also speak a very polite language.
Weather being the most unpredictable was fun to see. The summers were warm and lots of sunshine, an ideal time to hit the beach. On the contrast the winters were dark and gloomy with very little sunshine. However, the fall was usually unpredictable sometimes rainy, sometimes sunny and moments of chilliness. So often we would get drenched in the rain or catch the chilly winds while walking back home. After all that walk in the most unpredictable weather, nothing could beat a home cooked meal.
So I often made a bake which wasn’t too difficult and also quick. I visited my aunt while I was studying there and she used to make the most amazing bakes. My fondness for bakes grew even more. The best she made was a cauliflower and cheese bake. There is alot of creative bakes you can make with alot of combinations of the vegetables. Either you can put all the vegetables or can make specific bake such as broccoli and potato bake, or corns in spinach sauce, or mushroom, corn and zucchini bake. What I mean to tell you is that you can do experiments with all sort of things.
There has been a desire to make a nice creamy spinach sauce. I looked around a few recipes but honestly I followed my instincts. When I actually made this recipe I realized my mum used to make chicken balls in spinach sauce which tasted really yum. Maybe it wasn’t a replicate but the bake turned out to be good too.
So, at first I washed the spinach thoroughly and shredded it nicely and kept it aside for a while so the water drains out completely.
Then, putting a teaspoon of oil in the pan, I put the spinach and cooked on a low flame. I let it wilt. Then, let it cool down and churned it in the grinder. Dont worry about the quantity it will now seem the half of you had initially taken but it is enough to give it a great taste and colour to the dish.
Meanwhile, I put some butter with refined flour and some milk to make white sauce.
Seasoning is essential in the white sauce, and then put the pureed spinach in the sauce. Let it boil.
Stir stir stir!!
Throw the peas!!
Add corns to the sauce. Then simmer for 2 minutes carefully keeping in mind the thick consistency. Mix well and keep aside.
Sauté the carrots and beans.
Boil the potatoes and keep aside.
Now grease an oven proof baking dish.
Put the potatoes as the bed for the vegetables,
now add the sautéed vegetables, carrots and beans.
Pour the spinach sauce
and garnish with cheese.
Throw in the preheated oven 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes.
Eat Hot tastes delicious with garlic bread!!
1 cup shredded spinach, nicely washed
2 cups milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp refined flour
2 boiled potatoes
½ cup corns
½ cup peas
1 cup beans chopped
1 carrot chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2 cubes grated cheese
- Wash the spinach and drain it well. Pat dry with a kitchen towel. Heat a tsp of vegetable/ canola oil and put in the spinach and let it wilt. Add the garlic.
- Cool the spinach and grind it in the mixer. Keep aside.
- Heat butter in a pan, add the flour and the milk. Season it with salt and pepper. Let it boil.
- Add the spinach. Mix it nicely.
- Add the corns and the peas. Stir and remove from heat.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius. Boil potatoes and keep aside.
- Sautee carrots and beans. Keep aside.
- Grease an oven proof baking dish.
- Lay the potatoes in the dish, then put a layer of beans and carrots.
- Pour the spinach sauce.
- Put some grated cheese and put in the oven at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes.