How to make cauliflower cheese – recipe | food

sSince I first wrote a recipe for this dish, cauliflower has enjoyed an unusual transformation from its boring cousin of broccoli to the trendiest vegetable in town. Back in 2012, the idea of ​​serving broccoli as a staple at a feast sounded funny to most people, but it’s now popping up in restaurants and on Christmas tables alike. But do not forget where it all began, and this is with cauliflower cheese.

to equip 15 minutes
soak 30 minutes +
cook 30 minutes
serve 4

1 onion
2 cloves
1 liter milk
2 bay leaves
75 grams butter
50g plain flour
(or 3 tablespoons cornmeal, see step 3)
100 grams Lancashire cheese (If necessary, verify that they are vegetarian)
75 ml double cream
Salt and Pepper
1 medium cauliflower
4 slices of white bread
peels removed, crumbs dipped in breadcrumbs
25 grams cheddar (Again, if necessary, check that it is vegetarian)

1 Soak milk with onions and spices

Photo: Robert Billington/The Guardian. Food Stylist: Lola Fora

Peel the onion, cut it in half and tie it with the cloves. Put in a small saucepan with the milk and bay leaves, bring to a slow simmer, then turn off the heat, cover and simmer for at least 15 minutes, before removing and discarding (or reusing) the onion, cloves, and cloves. Buy.

2 Finish the white sauce

Melt 50g of butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, then whisk it into the flour and let it cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually add some of the soaked milk, stirring to make a paste, then stir in the remaining milk, reduce heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until you get a thick sauce.

3 The gluten-free alternative

If you prefer to keep the dish gluten-free, put three tablespoons of cornmeal in a heatproof bowl, whisk in a little of the soaked milk until you get a smooth paste, then stir in the remaining milk. Pour the milk and cornmeal mixture into a medium skillet over medium-low heat, and cook, stirring, until it thickens, then stir in a good saucepan of butter.

4 Add cheese

01c Cauliflower Felicity Clock Add Cheese
Photo: Robert Billington/The Guardian. Food Stylist: Lola Fora

Crumble or grate the Lancashire in the sauce until melted – you can use any hard cheese here instead, including cheddar, red Lister, Gruyere, Emmental, and even Parmesan – however, depending on what you’re using, you may want to adjust the amounts to taste . Add the cream (fresh cream too) and a large nutmeg or black pepper flake, season to taste, then let it warm over a very low heat.

5 Prepare the cauliflower

Boil a large pot of well salted water. Meanwhile, cut cauliflower into generous florets. Trim and discard any solid parts of the stalk, cutting the remaining stem into equal pieces. If your cauliflower has some green, tasty-looking leaves, chop those, too—cut the hard bases off the stems and throw them away, then roughly shred the rest.

6 Boil cauliflower

06a Felicity Clock Boil cauliflower
Photo: Robert Billington/The Guardian. Food Stylist: Lola Fora

Put the florets and stem pieces into the pot of boiling water and cook for four to five minutes, until soft, but not mushy, because it will cook more later, and only the craving is enjoying the soft cauliflower cheese. Extract with a perforated spoon and drain well. Add the leaves, if using, to the water for 2 minutes, then drain and set aside with the rest of the cauliflower.

7 Fry cauliflower

Melt most, but not all, of the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then fry the cauliflower, stirring, until slightly browned and caramelized—you may need to do this in batches. Season them with a spoon in a baking dish, and keep them warm while you prepare the garnish.

8 assembling and grilling

08a assembling and grilling
Photo: Robert Billington/The Guardian. Food Stylist: Lola Fora

Put the remaining butter in the same pan and, once melted, add the breadcrumbs and fry until crispy and golden, but not brown. Season, then set aside. Heat the grill over a medium to high heat. Pour the warm cheese sauce over the cauliflower, then grate the cheddar over the top. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, then grill until golden and boiling. Feet it right away.

9 twists on the topic

To make this more intense, fry 250g of bacon or chorizo ​​in the skillet in step 7 before frying the cauliflower. And/or season things by stirring 1 1/2 teaspoons of mustard powder into the sauce, then adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the pan with the breadcrumbs. Or add more vegetables by sticking two halved tomatoes before grilling.

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