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 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