I love it when cauliflowers are available in the shops again. And its great when there are a variety of sizes, so you can choose the most suitable size for what you are cooking and for how many people. There are so many more ways to cook cauliflower other than Cauliflower Cheese. On this website you can find recipes for Cauliflower Pilau and Cauliflower Soup With Blue Cheese. But there again there is one of the best cauliflower recipes which is – well – Cauliflower Cheese.
Cauliflower can be so delicious and is great as an easy, low cost midweek supper
Cauliflowers – Underrated Vegetable
Cauliflower cheese has somehow got itself a bad reputation among some over the years. School dinners probably has a lot to answer for – (I am afraid I often blame school dinners for putting people off food) – with overcooked, soggy tasteless cauliflower and a bland pale sauce. Ready meals possible haven’t helped its cause either, nor its resemblance to the tinned version of macaroni cheese – another much maligned dish that is delicious when cooked properly.
Easy Cauliflower Cheese Recipe – Warming Comfort Food
However on a cold autumn day, Cauliflower Cheese is warming, filling and completely delicious. And it is very economical and nutritious too! So what’s not to like!! It takes only 10 minutes or so to prepare and then it is ready to be popped into the oven for baking. It can be served as a main meal with a vegetable (and may be a slice of bread to mop up the sauce) or as a vegetable accompaniment to a main meal, such as a roast dinner. So if you haven’t tried Cauliflower Cheese for a long time, or have never cooked it at home, do give it another try. This recipe really is very easy and very delicious!
You can ring the changes by adding other vegetables with the cauliflower. Broccoli is an obvious companion. You could also have some cooked pasta and have ‘Cauliflower and Macaroni Cheese’. I like to serve Cauliflower Cheese with peas or other green vegetable.
For best results steam the cauliflower, rather than boiling it, to cook it before adding the sauce. This gives a much firmer texture and there is much less risk of it getting over cooked and mushy.
Easy Cheese Sauce
The cheese sauce is extra delicious when it is flavoured with a little English style yellow mustard. You could also try adding some paprika instead.
The cheese sauce is really easy to make. The main rules are to heat things gently and keep stirring all the time and especially when the sauce is initially coming near to boiling point. I always use Delia Smith’s ‘all in one’ method for making white sauce or cheese sauce as it is so much easier than the traditional roux type sauce and never fails – providing you keep stirring.
I originally learned this method from her Complete Cookery Course book which still serves as an excellent reference when ever I am in doubt as to a method of cooking something.
I use a balloon whisk initially until the mixture boils and then I change to a wooden spoon. Don’t heat up the temperature above medium high. Bring to the boil slowly and gently to prevent burning on the bottom. This also saves you from a horrible washing up job too, as getting burnt cheese sauce off is a job and a half!!
Quick tip here though for getting burnt stuff of a pan – a can of Coke poured in and left for a couple of hours will do the trick. Also bicarbonate of soda and vinegar can be effective.
- 1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
- 600ml milk (I use semi-skimmed)
- 125g /4oz cheddar cheese, grated
- 40g / 1.5oz plain flour
- 40g / 1.5oz margarine
- 1 teaspoon English style yellow mustard
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
- Steam the cauliflower for about 10 minutes, until slightly soft but not soggy
- Place the milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan
- Add the flour and butter
- Slowly bring to the boil stirring continuously with a balloon whisk
- Simmer gently for a few minutes
- Stir in 3/4 of the cheese and allow to melt
- Stir in the mustard
- Once the cauliflower is cooked, turn into a casserole or baking dish
- Pour the cheese sauce over the top
- Sprinkle over the remaining cheese
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown
- Serve with your favourite green vegetable
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