Thursday, March 10, 2011

New meal #1 - Cheesy cauliflower casserole

New recipe #1 was one I found on . As this site's author is out of Singapore, the measurements were in grams and Celsius. I did some conversion (and a little hoping) and tried this yummy sounding dish as a complete meal. I added noodles and ground turkey to round it out. The only issue I had was that with the addition of the noodles and meat, the original amount of sauce didn't find it's way to the bottom of the dish and some of the noodles and meat were dry. Next time I will double the amounts for the bechamel sauce. I also added some corn flake crumbs to the top before putting it in the oven to give it a nice topping.
The family enjoyed this meal and requested it be made again (with more cheesy sauce!).

Source: Adapted from Nora’s dinner (and breakfast, lunches and snacks for you to cook at home)
Serve: 4
1 medium size cauliflower
1 cup Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp butter
3 tbsp plain flour
2 cups milk
1 tsp mustard or mustard powder (I omitted)

2 tbsp crème fraiche (I omitted)
Salt and pepper
1.Preheat oven to 400°.
2.Grate the Cheddar and Parmesan cheese separately. Set aside.
3.Prepare béchamel sauce (creamy white sauce)
4.Melt butter in the small saucepan over a low heat.
5.Add the flour and, using your wooden spoon/ hand whisk, stir well, keeping the heat turned down low – the mixture should start to look like damp sand. This mixture is called a roux (pronounced “roo”)
6.Add the milk slowly, still stirring to make sure there are no lumps. If there are any, beat these out.
7.Bring the sauce up to the boil, then turn down low and allow the sauce to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring all the time until it starts to thicken. You now have a white sauce, also called a béchamel sauce.
8.Take the sauce off the heat. Add the mustard, half the grated Cheddar cheese, all the grated Parmesan and the crème fraiche. Stir well, and add a little salt and pepper. Stir again and taste the sauce. Add a bit more salt and pepper if needed. Set aside.
9.Prepare cauliflower (refer to note 4)
10.Put the large saucepan of water on to boil. Add a good pinch of salt to the water.
11.Wash the cauliflower, then use the sharp knife and chopping board to cut off the stem. Split the core in half so all the small florets fall apart. Add the cut-up cauliflower to the salted boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.
12.It is important not to overcook it or it will go mushy.
13.Drain the cooked cauliflower very well in a colander.
14.After the cooked cauliflower it is fully drained, tip the cauliflower into a medium overproof baking dish (or 2 small baking dishes) and cover with the sauce in step (4).
15.Sprinkle the remaining grated Cheddar cheese over the top (refer to note 5).
16.Place in the pre-heated oven on the middle shelf and bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling.
17.When finished, remove from the oven.
18.You can serve it as main meal, side dish or even as a snack.

1.To make it a complete meal, you can add cooked pasta (ie macaroni) and other ingredients (ie canned tuna or cooked salmon).
2.You can give this recipe a twist by substituting half of the cauliflower with broccoli.
3.I used Masterfood fine wholegrain mustard. You can also use Dijon mustard.
4.Alternatively, you can steam the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes.
5.Adding 4 tbsp of fresh breadcrumbs will give this dish a crispy-cruncy top

I sprinkled cornflake crumbs across the top before baking to give it a nice topping.

Hope you enjoy - Mo

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