Saturday, December 15, 2012

blame facebook

It all started innocently enough, with a post on FB. About cauliflower cheese of all things. Which prompted a string of responses about what friends added to their cauliflower cheese (bacon, leeks, stilton, walnuts were some of the suggestions) and the whole debate over whether it was acceptable to add broccoli into the mix. Which all reminded me of a Felicity Cloake article I read after perusing Luisa’s post on fried eggs. (Brilliant, by the way, and has totally transformed my fried eggs from dark brown leathery egg pucks into melty, runny but fully cooked eggs. The only downside is the massive increase in the consumption of said eggs.) But I digress. Cauliflower cheese. So there I was, doing my usual ponder over what to do for dinner and the cauliflower cheese comments would not leave my brain. I have cauliflower and cheese and bacon in my fridge I thought. We’ll have that for supper. So we did and it was good.

I oven roast my cauliflower to avoid adding extra water to the sauce if you boil it and it doesn’t drain completely. Also the oven roasting imparts a lovely sweetness to the cauliflower that makes it better than boiled or steamed.

Cauliflower Cheese with Bacon and Onions
1 head cauliflower, stalks removed, cut into florets
2 rashers bacon, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 ¾ c milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 c grated sharp cheddar and gruyere cheese, mixed
Salt and pepper

Heat your oven to 375 deg F. Place the cauliflower florets in a single layer on a baking sheet and place into the oven.

In a sauté pan, over medium high heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and some browning is occurring in the bacon. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the butter, flour and milk and whisk together to form a sauce. Turn the heat down to medium and let cook for at least 5 minutes until thick and bubbly. Stir in the mustard and season with salt and pepper. Add in the grated cheese and stir until melted. Lower the heat to medium low and keep warm until the cauliflower is done.

Once the cauliflower is browned in spots, remove from the oven and add to the sauce. Stir around in the sauce for a couple of minutes to coat the cauliflower with sauce really well. Serve hot.

I served mine with mashed potatoes that were mashed with a biggish knob of butter and some greek yogurt, seasoned with salt and pepper.

The following night, I did a variation of this with broccoli and sausage and served it over baked potatoes. Also delicious. Perfect after a rainy day on the soccer field and running errands.
broccoli cheese with sausage and gnocchi

No comments: