If you prefer, the microwave works great for cooking the asparagus and potato, giving you a potless head start on this recipe.
4 cups (1-inch) sliced asparagus (about 1 pound)
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced red potato
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (such as Cracker Barrel)
3/4 cup (1/2-inch) diced lean smoked ham
1/2 cup sliced green onions
4 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Place asparagus in a bowl; set aside. Add potato to pan; cook in boiling water 5 minutes or until tender. Drain. Add to asparagus.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through garlic) in a large saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. Add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat; stir in asparagus, potato, ham, and onions. Spoon asparagus mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or work surface (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), and gently brush 1 side of phyllo with about 1 teaspoon melted butter. Fold phyllo in half crosswise, and place over filling. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo and butter. Trim excess phyllo from edges of dish, and discard. Lightly coat phyllo with cooking spray.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly around the edges. Let stand 10 minutes.
YUM!!! This was really good. I made it without ham, and instead used wild rice. I also added carrots.
Edit - I made this again, but instead of asparagus used green beans. I really like this version - I'm going to keep with the beans!
I made a couple of substitutions to use up items I had on hand. Instead of ham = leftover Thanksgiving turkey! And instead of phyllo, I just unrolled a can of Pillsbury crescent rolls on top = no extra work (or butter) required. The entire dish was ready to eat after about 20 minutes in a 13x9 pan. I did find that it needed additional salt and pepper, which the ham might have made up for. Next time, I would probably add some more vegetables, too.
I liked this, and my husband loved it. The paprika and red pepper made the sauce a little bit different then your average cheese sauce. The phyllo dough was interesting, but something else (like an actual pie crust), might be better. We'll definitely make it again.
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