One of the side dishes I go for every year when planning the big Christmas day dinner is always Cauliflower Cheese. It’s never ever a vegetable that I or the kids would eat in a regular week yet its devoured annually, right next to the sprouts! I’m going to make an effort to throw this dish together more often this coming year… here’s the lowdown:
- 1 cauliflower about 1lb 8oz when trimmed into florets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 4 oz streaky bacon cut into strips OR bacon lardoons
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 450ml milk
- 4 oz cheddar cheese, finely grated
- A good grating of nutmeg (I used dried)
- 1 tbsp Parmesan, grated
- Salt & Pepper
- Cook the cauliflower in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 4 or 5 minutes, it should still be firm. Drain and place in a hot serving dish to keep warm.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat & fry the onion, garlic and bacon for 5 or 6 minutes until the onion is caramelised and golden and the bacon is crisp.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute while stirring continually. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk very gradually until smooth. Return to a low heat and stir until the sauce comes to the boil & thickens.
- Simmer gently, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Remove from the heat and stir in the Cheddar and nutmeg. Season to taste.
- Spoon the onion and bacon over the cauliflower and pour over the hot sauce. Top the dish with the Parmesan cheese and place under a hot grill to brown. Serve immediately.
The recipe comes from a lovely book I picked up somewhere years ago, its tatty and used and a bit sticky so that’s a sign of a good cook book!
“The Beginners Cookbook” by Pamela Gwyther.