Monday, November 14, 2011

Cauliflower Gratin

I got a gigantasourous head of cauliflower in my CSA box last week and I wanted to use it all in one fell swoop. My favorite way to make massive quantities of cauliflower super fantastic is to pour melted cheese over it and bake it. I've got to get around to trying mashed cauliflower one of these days, but it was not this day. I had a big hunk of smuggled french cheese that I wanted to melt, so this dish was born. Incidentally, it is inspired by my mom's classic fall/winter party staple of Broccoli-Cauliflower Gratin. She uses a combo of the two veggies and it is always a fan favorite. I let my massive head of cauliflower stand alone for this version and it was creamy and Delicious with a hint of earthiness from the veg. This would be a great thing to serve on your Thanksgiving table. You can prep everything until you bake it one or two days in advance. Then you bring it out of the fridge, bake and eat. Great for the busy holiday time. Cauliflower Gratin
1 head cauliflower
3 tbs. butter
2 Tbs. flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup melty cheese (like Gruyere)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper
1. Start out by making a classic rue. Melt the butter over medium heat in a heavy bottom saucepan. Then add the flour and stir around for 3-4 minutes so that the flour is slightly cooked.
2. Remove from the heat, and while whisking constantly, add the wine and then the milk. Return to the low heat and continue to whisk until all the lumps are dissolved. Allow this mixture to simmer on low heat for about 10-12 minutes and it will thicken. Keep and eye on it and stir every minute or so.
3. Slice or grate your cheese.
4. Slice or break apart the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and set them in a casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
5. Add a nutmeg, a tsp. of salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and the grated cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
6. Pour the melted cheese mixture over the cauliflower and cover.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
8. Remove the foil, increase the heat to 425 and allow the gratin to get crispy and brown for about 10 minutes.
These pictures are terrible because it was dark and I was hungry!
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