Whoever decided to put cheese and cauliflower together to make cauliflower cheese was an absolute genius…
Ingredients for cauliflower cheese
1/2 Bay leaf
2-3 Whole black peppercorns
Half a small onion
20g Plain flour
1 Small carrot (peeled and cut lengthways)
1 Small leak
1 Teaspoon of English mustard
2 Handfuls of cheddar cheese
1 Large to medium cauliflower head
Method for cauliflower cheese
1. First place the milk in a saucepan and add the bay leaf, peppercorns, carrot and onion.
2.Then place it over a low heat and keep it at simmering point, which will take around 5 minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the milk into a jug using a siv. The onion and carrot should par-boiled.
3. Wash the pan and melt the butter gently – don’t overheat it or let it brown, as this will affect the colour and flavour of the sauce. As soon as the butter melts – add the flour and, over a medium heat and using a small pointed wooden spoon, stir quite vigorously until you achieve a smooth paste.
4. Now begin adding the infused milk a little at a time – about 1fl oz/25ml first of all and stir again vigorously. Then, when this milk is incorporated, add the next amount and continue incorporating each bit of liquid before you add the next. When about half the milk is in, switch to a balloon whisk and start adding large amounts of milk, but always whisking briskly. Your reward will be a smooth, glossy, creamy sauce.
5. Add a teaspoon of English mustard and a handful of grated cheddar cheese.
6. Chop the cauliflower up and lay in a long dish, add a knob of butter and a splash of water and cover with cling film. Microwave for 3 minutes until the cauliflower is soft. Drain the dish of excess fluid if necessary.
7. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower evenly and top with healthy clumps of grated cheddar cheese, place under the grill at a high heat or in the oven at 180°C until golden brown.
Great with some roast potatoes!