One evening, while Baby was here, I made a simple supper of roasted chicken, baked potatoes, and steamed broccoli, (wocca) her favorite vegetable. Then I got the idea to make a cheese sauce for the broccoli because Baby also loves cheese (chee). I served the cheese sauce over the baked potatoes for the grown ups, but I cooked some brown rice for Baby because she not a big fan of potatoes.
Some people prick their potatoes before baking and also wrap them in foil. I don't do either of those things because it steams the potato rather than bakes it. Or perhaps I should call my potatoes "Roasted". The method I use results in a potato with crispy, salty skin which is fluffy and tender inside.
For the cheese sauce, I started with a thin white sauce because I wanted the sauce to saturate the potato rather than sit on top of it. I also used a Vermont extra sharp white cheddar, which kept my cheese sauce white. I steamed a bunch of broccoli, which I had trimmed and cut into florets and mixed about half of it with the cheese sauce. The rest I used for garnish and also to serve plain for Baby.
Scrub potatoes very well and inspect carefully for any discolorations, blemishes, or sprouts, and trim away as necessary. Dry them thoroughly. Coat the outside of each potato lightly with vegetable oil and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for approximately 1 hour, until the skin is crispy and the potato is tender. To serve, pierce the potato in a dotted line from end to end, with a fork. Crack the potato open by pushing the ends toward the center. Add toppings as desired.
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups milk
4 oz. freshly grated Vermont extra sharp cheddar cheese
In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour until completely incorporated and beginning to bubble. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the milk and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat, add the grated cheese, and stir until melted.