Using a variety of potatoes (blue, yellow, red) makes it prettier.
Using a Vermont-style ham gives a maple sweetness that balances out the chill flakes.
And not having to share strawberries for dessert!
Recipe found in a piece of junk mail years ago... It is not kosher, halal or vegetarian (my apologies to those with dietary restrictions!)
3 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes (or a hand-full of new potatoes with the skin on (prettier)
2 cups of water
1 med onion, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chili flakes, to taste
3cups milk (not skim, it's better the higher fat content you go, but 1% will work if it's what you've got on-hand)
1 cup cooked ham, cubed (Vermont-style is nice but use your favourite, or bacon)
1 cup shredded old cheddar (spring for the best cheese you can, I use 2-year old white cheddar)
Boil potatoes in 2 cups water in a medium pot for 10-15min or until fork tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of potato water. (Add water if you are short). Add potato water to sugar and milk. Set potatoes and milk mixture aside.
Melt butter over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent but not brown, about 5 min. Sprinkle flour, pepper, and chili flakes over onions and stir constantly, until flour is browned and onions are thoroughly coated, 3-5 min. You may want to lower the heat to med-low for this step.
Gradually and gently add potatoes and stir until coated with flour mixture. Slowly add milk mixture, small amounts at first, stirring well with each addition. Add ham and cheese. Bring to a low simmer.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 min. Serves 4, or more if you get a little crazy with the potatoes and ham. I always seem to add more... It's yummier that way.