This is a good base recipe. After reading all the recipes and making this once I've come to a couple of conclusions. First, the wateriness people don't like probably comes from the fact that the potatoes, certain cheeses and the ham all have quantities of water in them. This is what I've done and I think it comes out well. Slice your potatoes fairly thin (drain well), pat dry if necessary and dice onion. Any ham will do but cubed ham will cook more evenly with the potatoes. . Make a roux by melting 1/2 c. butter; don't allow it to scorch or brown. Add the flour SLOWLY until you create a smooth paste - a whisk works best. Sauce will thicken quickly. The roux should be thicker than the norm because next you will slowly add the heavy cream a tablespoon at a time (NO Half and Half or Milk - cream - with butterfat). Your sauce should be thick but not too thick. Think a bit thinner than cheese dip. Slowly stir in the cheese. The whole should be emulsified but thick. Use chicken broth to thin. This will give it flavor (water will not). Add your powders (if you have any - onion or garlic). In your dish create a layer of potato, onion / garlic; add the cheese mixture and slather over the layer. Create one to two more layers and finish with a layer of sauce on top. Add butter crumbs if you like or just brown the dish "as is". Still delicious.
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This is a good base recipe. After reading all the recipes and making this once I've come to a...