Sunday, May 1, 2011

Monday Quick-Fix: Cauliflower Cheese

This dish is a fun vegetarian entree. It is equally good
made with either Broccoli, or  half-Broccoli &

The Cheese Sauce doesn't need a roux and comes 
together very quickly. The entire prep time for this dish 
is less than 10 minutes, and baking time is 20 minutes.

Cauliflower Cheese (serves 1-2)

1/3 - 1/2 head cauliflower, separated into a few large groups of florets

Lightened-up Cheese Sauce:

1 cup  milk
2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 4 tbsp water into a slurry
1/4 tsp dijon mustard or 1/8 tsp hot mustard
1/8 tsp salt
a dash of pepper
1/2 cup grated sharp white cheddar or old orange cheddar cheese

1-2 tbsp grated orange cheddar cheese, mixed with
1-2 tbsp breadcrumbs or crumbled cheese crackers,
and seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper & a dash of cayenne.

First put the cauliflower on to steam in a steamer set over a pan 
with 1" water in it. Bring to boil, cover and steam over medium 
heat for 4-5 minutes, or until just fork-tender but not soft.  Remove 
from the  heat and place in a shallow lightly oiled baking dish.

Make the cheese sauce while the cauliflower is steaming.  Have all
the ingredients for the sauce prepared prior to beginning, as it
cooks very quickly:

On medium heat, begin to warm the milk.  Season with the salt, 
pepper and mustard and whisk gently until the mixture is almost 
boiling, 1-2 minutes.  Reduce heat, do not allow to boil, and
immediately add the cornstarch mixture all at once with one hand
while whisking vigorously with the other hand.  Stir until bubbling 
and thickened, which will be almost right away.  Let bubble for 
1 minute, remove from heat, and stir in the cheese, whisking the 
sauce till cheese is melted in. 

Pour the *cheese sauce over the cauliflower, sprinkle with the 
breadcrumb/cheese topping, and bake uncovered at 375 for 20

This is excellent served with a Baby Spinach & Apple Salad on the side, 
or Red Cabbage with Apple & Onion.

*If you have leftover cheese sauce, it can be reheated the next day
by splashing with 1-2 tsp milk then warming up gently, whisking
till smooth. Wonderful served over Poached Egg On Toast with
Broiled Tomatoes on the side.

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