Wherever we stay, wherever I cook, my ideal partner in the kitchen is the oven for many good reasons. Especially in winter you can make a great variety of dishes. Timing of serving your meal is so easy and the cook can always join the guest while eating, which is so important (eating is sharing, is talking). The classical Belgian touch with a white sauce with or without cheese tops up a lot of dishes and doesn’t always mean that it will be a fat dish. We need some fat and nothing wrong with some real butter occasionaly.
Today’s menu is a fennel-potatoe combination with a delicious sauce based on the classical bechamel (but use half skimmed milk and if you really want the minimum of calories you can thicken the sauce with maizena instead of making a normal roux) with a mixture of parmigiano, gruyere and gorgonzola or taleggio. Take an oven dish to stew the onion, two chopped bulbs of fennel (appr. 300-400 gr pp) and a few garlic cloves. Add dry basil, pepper and salt. Boil 500gr of potatoes in salted water. Make a puree without adding milk, butter nor eggs. Cover the vegetables when they are almost ready with the crushed potatoes. Put a layer of the cheesy sauce on top and make a few holes in the puree so that the sauce can gently make his way through the lower layers. This plate can easily be made a day in advance. A preheated oven at 180° for 40-60 mins will reheat the dish and create a beautiful crust.