Sunday, 8 March 2009

Cauliflower Cheese

The perfect accompaniment to many a roast dinner, this is a hearty and comforting dish (possibly because of all the cheese!). The cheese sauce has been described before, in this recipe for broccoli and blue cheese pasta.

1 cauliflower
100 g cheddar
Salt and pepper
25 g butter
25 g flour
~1 pint milk
1 tsp English mustard powder

Have an admiring look at your cauliflower. It is not a sickly looking piece of broccoli, but a flowering member of the cabbage family in its own right. According to the "ever-reliable" Wikipedia...
Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C, possessing a very high nutritional density. As a member of the brassica family, cauliflower shares with broccoli and cabbage several phytochemicals which are beneficial to human health, including sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed.

Remove the leafy part. These are actually edible, but I haven't eaten them before and I expect they are a bit tough.
Chop into florets and steam/ par boil in a pan. I usually steam vegetables if possible, as there is less water involved, so less chance of losing the vitamins from the veg into the water. About 5-7 minutes steaming is enough for a cauliflower, depending on how big you chop it.
Now prepare a cheese sauce, not forgetting the secrets to making a good cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat.

Add the flour and stir well.

Add a little bit of the milk, then mix well until the consistency as smooth. Keep doing this, adding a little bit of milk and mixing until all the milk is added.

Still using a very low heat, bring the sauce just up to the boil and remove from the heat.

Now it is time to liven up the sauce a little with the addition of cheese, salt and pepper and some English mustard powder (I love the iconic design of the Colman's mustard tin - I am sure it has remained unchanged since it was established in 1814!). Add half of the grated cheese to the sauce, a teaspoon of mustard powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Place the cooked cauliflower in a baking dish, cover with the cheese sauce and then the remaining grated cheese. Sprinkle on a bit more salt and pepper.

Bake in the oven at 180C for about 20-30 minutes, until you get a nice golden crust on the top.

Serve at once.

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JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That looks delicious Ryan! I love cauliflower and we eat it often, but it has been a while since I did it with a cheese sauce...I should soon.

Ruth E said...

I love cauliflower cheese but never made it, I really should try it out cos this looks great!

LJP said...

I have been looking for a good cauliflower cheese recipe - thanks!!