Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Cauliflower Cheese

Comfort food. Plain, simple, everyday cooking. So why am I putting it in my blog? Well this blog is destined to be a recipe book for Rhyley so a few basics must be included. Everyone has their own way. All a matter of taste isn't it? I always make enough for leftovers to make the soup below. Some of the leaves must always be included for me. They look attractive as they add colour and why waste them? They have a lovely flavour and have all the nutrients of any green leafy vegetable.. I always make a very thick cheese sauce to go with the cauliflower. It is quite a watery vegetable and this dilutes the sauce. I also think it is worth doing a bit of prep to the milk by bringing it just to the boil with a quartered onion, a bay leaf, some black peppercorns , a few sprigs ot thyme, and a crushed garlic clove, leaving it to infuse for a while then straining before use. The sauce won't be a disaster without this but it really does improve the flavour

Pre heat oven to 200.C/180.C Fan/gas 6/400.F


Head of cauliflower cut in to florets discarding the outer leaves but keeping the sweet inner ones. Wash and then boil for five minutes. Strain and run cold water over the florets and greens to keep them from cooking any longer and leave to drain.
When well drained arrange in a buttered oven proof dish

For the sauce

75g/3oz butter
75g/3oz plain flour
500 mls milk (for a very rich sauce you can replace some of the milk with cream)
1 tablespoon of white wine or vermouth
1 teaspoon of mustard ( either dijon for a mild flavour or English for more bite)
A little cayenne pepper (optional)
Grated cheddar cheese. I like to use extra mature cheddar and lots of it but it's up to your taste buds.
A little grated parmesan to sprinkle on top


Melt the butter gently in a saucepan over a low heat.
Stir in the flour and leave to cook for a minute or so.
Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard and wine/vermouth
Start to whisk in the milk gradually.
Return to the heat. keep the heat lowish and keep stirring until it thickens. ( I find my mini whisk perfect for this job.)
Continue on until it becomes very thick.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese and cayenne if using.
Pour over the cauliflower and sprinkle the parmesan on top.
Bake for about 20-30 mins until golden and bubbling.

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

For me this is a great reason to make cauli cheese. I always make sure there are left overs for this. Really quick and easy.

Chop an onion and fry gently in a saucepan until soft
Add about 500mls chicken stock and some chopped parsley
Add the left over cauli cheese and let it heat through in the stock, then puree.
That's it. So delicious


I find that half or just over half the quantity of sauce is enough but I always make the full amount and keep the remainder to make a baked pasta dish later in the week


Coby said...

LOL I love that you make a dish with the express intention to create another meal Granny:D I am also agreeing *loudly* on the leaves of the cauli - why waste?:) Both dishes look delicious and I am as eager to read comfort 'basic' dishes as something more fancy:)

Bridgett said...

I love the idea of two dishes from one, but I can guarantee that if I made the cheesy cauliflower, there would not be enough left to make the soup after! It looks amazing.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is one perfect combination! Both the casserole and soup look fabulous and so scrumptious!



Understanding Alice said...

I LOVE cauliflower cheese, and this all looks so delicious - I hadnt thought of the soup, I must try that!

Brownieville Girl said...

Fantastic photos Granny, cauli cheese is my eldest son's favourtie vegetable dish :-}}

Grannymar said...

This is one that I will have to 'pass' on, because of the milk, but I have passed the link to someone that I know will enjoy it!

BetterLate said...

I'd never thought of making enough to use as a soup next day - what a good idea.

I like some breadcrumbs mixed with the grated cheese for a crispy topping.

Nickki said...

That looks delicious Granny. I love the fact that you use the inner leaves of the cauliflower, I will definitely try this. I actually bought a large cauliflower today! I love the idea of the soup, I'm going to make it over the weekend :-)

Nina Timm said...

I love the Cauliflower cheese....looks so comforting and warm!!