Thursday, 19 February 2015

Comfort food for a grey day

It's been wet, cold and windy today. And very grey too. So I felt in need of something to lift my spirits.

I love cauliflower, eaten raw, steamed, roasted with cumin or in one of my favourites, cauliflower cheese. However I do like to make mine a main meal, with a little salad or bread on the side. This is my favourite way of doing it, I hope that you like it.

For four people (or in my husband's case two greedy ones)

1 medium cauliflower (pull the leaves apart when buying, what might look like a generous cauli can turn out to be disappointing in my experience)
1 medium head of broccoli
1 pint of whole milk
2 bay leaves
5 whole black peppercorns
2 cloves
50 grams of butter
50 grams of plain flour
1 teaspoon of mustard powder
125 grams of grated hard strong cheese of your choice, It can be cheddar, red leicester, cave aged Gouda or anything else of your choice
2 slices of bread, preferably stale, toasted
25 grams of parmesan

Start by bringing the milk almost to the boil with the bay leaves, peppercorns and cloves. Leave to 30 minutes and then strain to remove the aromatics.

Next cook the cauliflower and broccoli under just tender. You can either boil or steam. Place in a colander to get rid of the excess moisture.

Next make the sauce. Put the butter, flour and milk in a saucepan. Heat slowly until starting to thicken, whisking all the time, then add the mustard. When starting to bubble on the surface, add the cheese and allow to melt. Let simmer gently for 10 minutes to let the flavours mingle.

In the meantime, blitz the bread and parmesan to make coarse crumbs and set aside.

When the sauce is ready, pour one third into the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Arrange the cauliflower and broccoli so that everyone gets
a bit of both when served. Pour over the remaining sauce and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Put on a baking tray and place in an over at 180c for 30 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Leave to cool slightly and then serve.

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