So I always wonder how the winter is going for everyone – we’re going to be up to 58 tomorrow but I’m bummed because it’s supposed to rain. But it was supposed to snow, so we’re lucky for this heat wave. Then down to 15 degrees by the end of the week.
Here’s a cozy little side casserole that’s perfect comfort food if you’re facing that scary snow thing coming up. It would be great as a side for ham or maybe pork chops. We had it at Thanksgiving and it was a hit at dinner.
Everyone loved it even though I overcooked the cauliflower, so be sure to remove it from the water while it’s only just cooked through and not soft already. This is a dish that’s pretty riffable. How about a little bacon or ham in and on this? And you couldn’t go wrong with more cheese! Maybe you’d like to double the recipe and bake it in a huge pan.
We’re paying through the nose, it seems, for cauliflower these days. When something gets popular and demand increases, the cost often rises. And cauliflower has been so popular, lately. Boy, I wouldn’t have predicted that 20 years ago! Anyway, if you have an Aldi, you’ll find it at the best price there. If cauliflower is on sale, be sure to figure out if the cost is by the head and buy the largest. If priced by the pound, weigh it on a scale so there won’t be a huge surprise at the checkout.
Cauliflower au Gratin
- 1 head cauliflower, in small bite sized florets
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon thyme, use most in the sauce but sprinkle a bit on top
- salt and pepper to taste (suggest 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
- 3/4 cup good quality Cheddar, white or standard plus a two or three tablespoons to top the casserole, if desired.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook cauliflower until just barely tender, about four minutes. Drain thoroughly and place into a medium-sized casserole.
Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium high heat. Add flour and whisk a minute or two until flour starts to look a little dry but hasn’t picked up any color. Whisk in milk, bring to a boil and stir until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon and not fill in the line when a finger is run across it.
Remove from heat and add cheese, in small handfuls, stirring after each until incorporated. Add most of the thyme, salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the cauliflower, using a spoon to nudge between florets, if necessary, so all are coated. If desired, top with a little additional cheese and sprinkle the top with a pinch of the thyme.
Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned in spots.
I’ll be posting this recipe at Fiesta Friday 200. Be sure to stop by and vote for your favorite recipes on Tuesday!