Sunday, May 22, 2011
Just the fact that it is called Cauliflower Cheese, not cauliflower and cheese, or cauliflower with cheese sauce, or even cauliflower gratin, alerts you this is quintissential English fare. It can be served as a side dish, often with the Sunday beef roast dinner. I put the cauliflower in indivdual baking dishes and served it as our main dish. Delicious and satisfying. For this dish, please choose an excellent quality, sharp cheddar cheese. I used my favorite extra-sharp Vermont white cheddar.
1 large cauliflower
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Wash the cauliflower and cut into florets. Plunge the florets into a pot of boiling, salted water; lower heat and simmer gently until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well in a colander and set aside.
In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour until well blended, then whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Stir in the mustard powder, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in half the cheese. Add the cauliflower to the cheese sauce and mix gently to coat.
Place the cauliflower mixture into a buttered 2 quart baking dish, or individual dishes. Mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining cheese and sprinkle over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes (10 - 15 minutes for individual dishes) until golden brown and bubbly.
Serve right away.