Monday, 12 September 2011

Cauliflower and Cheese Bake

I keep a note pad and pencil beside the television in our kitchen, why I hear you ask, well it's for those impromptu can't resist recipes that crop up on TV. This one of those very recipes, scribbled down (in mostly shorthand) to be hopefully deciphered later! I took inspiration from the Hairy Bikers for this one but with some of the fussing taken out. I love this on it's own with some crunchy bread and if you're feeling healthy a green salad wouldn't go astray.

Serves 4 or 2 as a main

750g Cauliflower florets, frozen
100g Bacon lardons
25g Butter
50g Plain flour
250ml Full-fat milk
½ tsp English mustard
200g Cheddar cheese, grated
55ml Double cream
Salt and pepper
Fresh nutmeg, grated

For the topping
50-60g breadcrumbs
50g cheddar cheese, finely grated


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Cook the cauliflower florets in a large, pan of boiling water for about 3-4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a clean saucepan over a medium heat. Beat in the flour slowly with a balloon whisk until smooth.

Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth, then stir in the mustard, grated cheese and double cream.

Keep stirring until the cheese has melted and the mixture is thick and creamy. Grate over a pinch of nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then fold in the bacon.

Place the cauliflower florets into an large ovenproof casserole dish and pour over the cheesy sauce. For the topping, mix the breadcrumbs with the cheese in a plastic bag, shake, then sprinkle the mixture over the cauliflower. Place into the oven for 15 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.

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