Tuesday, 23 February 2010
We just love cauliflower in this house. It's not something that I ever had as a child, but I am quite sure that I would have loved it . . . even then. I can make a meal of it. It's so very versatile.
It's fantastic curried, or made into creamy rich soup. Tasty roasted, and also fried. It makes a good substitute for potatoes when mashed or grated. (for all you low carbers out there!)
It's lovely raw, served up with a delicious aioli to dip it in . . . swooping large chunks down into all that garlicky goodness . . . mmmm . . . what a tasty mouthful. Or even chopped and added raw to salads. It gives them the most wonderful texture and crunch!
One of our favourite ways to eat it though . . . has to be cauliflower cheese. That beautiful crispy tender cooked cauliflower, laying all tastily beneath a rich blanket of cheese sauce and buttery crumbs. Here's where I could make a real pig of myself and eat the whole thing on my own . . . but I'm not that greedy, I do let Todd have some as well . . . sigh . . .
This is a very tasty upscale version of cauliflower cheese. The sauce is rich and tangy . . . and just loaded with strong cheddar cheese and chopped spring onions. The crumbs on top is where the big difference comes in.
Yes . . . they are buttery, but . . . they are also really flavourful, with the added tangy surprise of some creamed horseradish.
You are gonna love this. I promise!
*Cauliflower Gratin with A Horseradish Crust*
An upscale version of cauliflower cheese with a delicious crunchy crumb topping, all buttery and filled with the slight heat of horseradish. Delicious!
1 large head of cauliflower, about 3 pounds in weight
Trim and break into florets
4 TBS butter, divided
2 TBS plain flour
12 ounces milk
6 ounces strong cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
4 spring onions, the green parts only, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
10 Italian crackers, coarsely crumbled
2 TBS creamed horseradish
Preheat the oven to 205*C/425*F. Butter a shallow gratin dish. Set aside.
Place the cauliflower florets into a saucepan of lightly salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until just tender. Drain well and then place into the prepared gratin dish.
Melt 2 TBS of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking for several minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Cook, whisking, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 8 minutes. Whisk in the cheese, spring onions, salt and pepper, whisking until the cheese is completely melted.
Melt the remaining 2 TBS of butter. Whisk in the horseradish sauce. Crumble the crackers into a bowl. Pour the butter/horseradish mixture over top and toss together.
Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the cauliflower florets in the gratin dish. Top with the crumb mixture. Bake in the heated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.