Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Baked Potato with Smoked Cheddar Sauce, Kielbasa & Broccoli

Read the title of this post.

WHAT could be bad about this dinner? It has very few ingredients, it's super simple, and it involves a potato, cheese, and sausage.
(I have a feeling that my male followers in particular might really enjoy this post - and even try making it at home.)

And even more exciting than a delicious post? The fact that I'm posting from my very own, shiny, new MacBook! It's truly a glorious piece of machinery.

While we're on the topic of technology, another announcement: for you Tweet-addicts, you can now get the latest Fearless Cook posts via Twitter: @thefearlesscook. You might also see some food-related, non-post Tweets every now and again.


1 large baking potato, like Idaho
1/2 head of broccoli, cut into florets
3 oz. smoked cheddar cheese, grated
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 c. lowfat milk
about 8 thin slices kielbasa sausage
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 400. Wrap the potato in aluminum foil. Bake it for about an hour and 15 minutes, until it's fully cooked. Cook the broccoli in boiling water for a few minutes, until it's just tender. Chop into small pieces.


Meanwhile, cook the kielbasa in a saucepan until browned. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon and set aside. Chop the kielbasa into small chunks. Drain all but just a tiny bit of drippings from the saucepan. Return the heat to medium. Melt the butter, and whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook for a minute or two, then whisk in the milk, stirring constantly.


Add the garlic, still whisking, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Stir in the cheese and whisk until melted. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. After a few minutes, the sauce should be thickened. Stir in the kielbasa.


Slice the potato in half and place the broccoli in the middle. Pour the cheese sauce and kielbasa generously over the potato. Enjoy!

NOTE: This makes one generous serving (for a large potato). For two people, I'd roughly double it. If you use smaller potatoes, one batch of the cheese sauce could be enough.

This came out great. The smoked cheddar with the smokiness of the kielbasa made quite a flavorful combination. And what better vehicle to absorb all that earthy smokiness than the earthiest of all foods, the potato? The crisp broccoli and mild potato balanced the smoky saltiness perfectly.

Besides the time it takes to actually bake the potato (which isn't a lot of work), you could throw this dinner together in about 15 minutes. With a fresh green salad and a beer, it could be the ideal dinner. Men, most especially, I urge you to try this immediately!

Thanks for reading! More soon..

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