(Serves 2-3 as a main meal)
This is a variation on the classic cauliflower cheese. And it’s a classic for a reason; cauliflower cooked gently to retain a little crunch, in a velvety, rich cheese sauce, grilled gratin-style and served with a topping of crispy bacon. All this from a simple recipe, using ingredients many will already have in their kitchen and using standard pots and pans, rather than any expensive cookware. Satisfying as a main meal served with a wedge of granary bread or alternatively as an accompaniment to other dishes.
1 small cauliflower approximately 450-500 g (1 lb)
(For the Sauce)
50g (1¾ oz) butter
3 tablespoons flour
400ml (14 fl oz) milk
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons cream cheese
100g (3½ oz) grated mature cheddar cheese*
50g (1¾ oz) grated parmesan*
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon black pepper
(For the Gratin topping)
4 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs
30g (1 oz) grated mature cheddar
¼ teaspoon paprika
4 thin-cut rashers of streaky smoked bacon, cut in half
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
1. Prepare the cauliflower by removing any foliage and cutting into 4-5cm (1½-2 inch) florets.
2. Fill the 3-ply Stainless Steel 20cm Sauté Pan with approximately 500ml of water and ½ teaspoon salt.
3. Add the cauliflower florets, put the lid on and bring to the boil over a medium heat.
4. Simmer for 5-6 minutes until just tender but not soft. Drain into a colander or sieve and set to one side.
5. To make the sauce melt the butter in the sauté pan over a low to medium heat. Once hot stir in the flour and remove from the heat.
6. Beat in the milk, a little at a time, until it is all incorporated.
7. Stir in the other sauce ingredients.
8. Return to the heat and cook, stirring all the time until the sauce becomes thick and glossy.
9. To make the gratin take a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, cheese and the paprika together then set to one side.
10. Stir the cooked cauliflower into the sauce and sprinkle over the breadcrumb mixture.
11. Place under a medium heat grill approximately 10cm (4 inch) away from the element and cook for 5-6 minutes until bubbly and brown. Whilst the gratin is cooking, grill or pan-fry the bacon until crisp.
Serve the gratin topped with the crispy rashers and a dusting of freshly chopped parsley.