Ham and Broccoli Flan.

Two-part meals are always a bit time consuming, as, fairly obviously, they have to be done in two stages. For that reason, allow plenty of time; the following needs at least an hour and a half to two hours, but the result is really worthwhile. You can impress your friends with your culinary skills, amaze them with your inventiveness, and use up all the left-overs and odds and ends in the fridge at the same time. By the way, this recipe is the minimum possible. It can be expanded considerably and is a commercial staple.

Ingredients.

400g grated potato.

25g melted butter.

1 tsp crushed ajwain seed*.

1 egg.

Salt and pepper to taste.

25g butter.

1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced.

2 cloves garlic, crushed.

1 cup broccoli florets.

1 capsicum, diced.

1 cup diced ham.

½ cup sour cream.

¼ cup cottage cheese.

1 tblsp Dijon mustard.

Another egg, beaten.

Method.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grate the potato and place it in a muslin kitchen cloth [or a clean tea towel]. Squeeze out the water until dry then place the gratings in a bowl with the ajwain seed, the butter, egg, salt and pepper. Mix together well. Oil a 20cm baking pan and press the potato mixture evenly across the base and up the sides. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

While it is cooking,  blanch the broccoli and capsicum in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes then drain and set aside. Melt the butter in another pan over a hot flame and quickly cook the onion and garlic until soft. Add the broccoli, capsicum, ham, sour cream, cottage cheese and the mustard. Stir through until hot and evenly mixed, then remove from the heat and fold the egg through the mixture.

Remove the baking pan from the oven: the potato mixture should be nicely browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C. Carefully fill the flan with the ham/broccoli mix and return to the oven for 30 minutes. While you are waiting, do the dishes, of which there will be quite a lot. Serve with a green salad.

Serves: 4.

Variations: The number of variations, using cold cooked meats, is enormous. Chicken and Spinach Flan. Chicken and Cauliflower Flan. Bacon and Mushroom Flan. Ham and Tomato Flan. Feta and Spinach Flan. Salami and Olive Flan. Prosciutto, Tomato and Garlic Flan. Bolognaise Flan, topped with Béchamel Sauce. Mortadella Sausage and Asparagus Flan. You are limited only by your imagination and the contents of your fridge.

*. Or cumin – optional.

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