Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Cauliflower Cheese with a kick

I love Cauliflower Cheese, and I alter the recipe each time, adding different flavours, types of cheeses, etc. Here is my basic recipe, with a few suggestions. 

Cauliflower Cheese

CC is a really simple side dish to complete, takes few ingredients and goes with a lot of different foods, I usually have it with some kind of quorn fillet; a meat alternative for others could be something like steak or pork chops. It's also a staple in christmas and special occasion meals.

- A head of cauliflower
- 150g of grated cheddar cheese
- 50g of grated blue cheese, if you wish
- 50g of Butter
- 80g of Plain white flour
- 550ml of Milk (more depending on how thick you want the sauce)
- 1 tsp of mustard, wholegrain or english (I used honey wholegrain)
- 1/3 of a nutmeg grated (1/2 tsp of ground)
- Salt and pepper to taste
  1. First you want to cook your cauliflower, so chop into florets and place into a pan of salted boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes until just cooked so that they're still tender. Start checking with a fork at 5 minutes. When its done, drain into a colander and place over the original pan to drain. Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 6/400F/200C. 
  2. Start making your thick, cheesy sauce. To do this you melt the butter on a low, gentle heat in a pan. When melted, add your flour very slowly, mixing with a wooden spoon constantly to prevent lumps. I use a small hand sieve for the flour. Continue to mix until all of your flour has been incorporated and allow to simmer for a minute or so.
  3. Now you have a good base in which to add your milk, again, do this very slowly otherwise you'll end up with lumps, and a sauce isn't good with lumps! Continue to stir until you have the consistency you want. 
  4. You can add the cheese at this point, stirring as you do so, ensuring that all of the cheese melts. Add your seasonings; mustard, nutmeg and S+P. 
  5. Add the cauliflower into the sauce and place into an oven dish, cover with breadcrumbs, some more grated cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes. 


CC lends itself to some great variations, such as adding a tsp of creamed horseradish (instead of mustard), parmesan or gruyere (instead of stilton), even add in some cooked macaroni. 

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