October 12, 2011
I have been craving this for weeks, and last weekend I worked a lot, so on Sunday with the wind blowing a gale outside and drizzle coming down so thick it was like fog, I finally got round to making it.
It is more than comfort to me, it’s a dish my Mum used to make a lot for me as a child and so I will always love it.
I found it hard to write my recipe though as I make my roux by eye and don’t measure anything!
How cute is my Emma Bridgewater dish? A present from my Mama!
1 large white cauliflower
50g flour; use whatever you have, I used a little buckwheat and a little plain but normally I would use wholemeal
1-2 pints of milk – depending on how thick you want your sauce
150-200g cheddar – I use the strongest as I can get, you can totally use whatever you like here as well, a little bit of Stilton takes it to a whole other level.
2 tbsp double cream (not important)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1-2 pinch’s of freshly grated nutmeg – to taste
sea salt and black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C
Cook the cauliflower in boiling salted water until just tender – 5-6 minutes. Don’t underdo it either – crunchy, al dente cauliflower is not right for this dish.) Drain thoroughly and put into your baking/serving dish.
2. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium-sized pan. Spoon in the flour and stir, do not let it burn. Cook for 4-5 minutes to cook the flour off.
Remove from the heat and gradually beat in the milk, a few spoonfuls at a time at first, then increasing the flow as the sauce thins. Make sure you taste the sauce to check the flour has cooked.
Return to the heat and heat gently for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and creamy.
Then add in the cheese, cream, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper and adjust to your taste.
3. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower, sprinkle over some more grated cheese (and breadcrumbs if you have them) and bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbling!
I also grill mine for a further 3 minutes to get those delicious burnt edges.
I even had enough leftover for my lunch the next day.