Friday, November 7, 2014

Cauliflower Cheese

I'm one of those dinosaurs that likes to read the paper.  I also read the news online and watch news shows on television.  I read everything, except the classifieds.  I really like the recipes because they don't make me mad like the news and opinions sometimes do!

I came across a cauliflower recipe in a recent paper.  Lee loves cauliflower so I cut it out.  Then I went to one of my favorite cooking blogs,  Smitten Kitchen, and found that she had a cauliflower recipe, also.  I went with hers.  For me it made almost too much cheese in the cheese-to-cauliflower ratio, but maybe I had a smaller head of cauliflower.  On the other hand, who am I to worry about too much cheese?


Cauliflower Cheese

1 medium head cauliflower
4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons mustard powder  This was very mustardy at first taste, but mellowed into delicious.
Fresh ground pepper or cayenne if you are adventurous, to taste
2 cups milk, I used 2%
1 1/4 cups grated sharp Cheddar Cheese


Start a medium pan of water to boil.  Heat oven to 400°.  I sprayed a 2 quart baking dish with Pam and set aside.


Cut the cauliflower in half and then cut off all the florets.  Cut them into 1 to 2 inch pieces.  When the water is boiling, drop them in the pan for about 7 minutes. 


Then drain and place back in the warm pan to dry off a bit.


In a medium pan, melt the butter and then add the flour.  Cook for a minute or so to get rid of the floury taste.  Add the mustard and the pepper of choice.  Drizzle the milk in a thin stream into the flour mixture while whisking with the other hand.  This will help prevent lumps.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue stirring.  When the mixture thickens, add the cheese a handful at a time and stir until combined, reserving a few Tablespoons for later.


Taste the sauce with a small spoon and add salt or pepper to taste.  Place the used spoon in the sink.  Eating off the spoon you use to cook is disgusting and unsanitary.  This is how we spread Ebola, people.  OK, maybe not Ebola, but just don't do it.  Yuck.


Carefully dump the cauliflower in the baking dish and then pour the cheese sauce over it.  You may need to stir a wee bit to distribute it evenly.  Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top and bake for about 35 minutes.  The cheese on top will turn brown and the sauce should bubble up around the cauliflower.


This makes an perfect winter or fall side dish.  I like to add a bit more pepper on top.

We had left overs and the next day I sautéed some onions, zucchini and thin slices from half of a lite Polska Kielbasa.  I served this with the reheated cauliflower and it was delish.  Lee mixed his together, but I carefully mixed each bite on the fork in my left hand with the perfect mix of cheese to meat and veg.  Veddy British.  I'm still preparing for my visit with the Queen.  Just in case.

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