Author Topic: Cauliflower Casserole  (Read 559 times)

Olga Drozd

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Cauliflower Casserole
« on: February 09, 2018, 05:43:00 PM »
Cauliflower Casserole

Gruyere or cheddar can be used in place of the Parmesan.

TOPPING:

2 slices white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

FILLING:

1 large head cauliflower (about 3 pounds), trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch florets (about 8 cups)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated fine (about 1 cup) - divided

1.  For the topping: Process the bread and butter in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until coarsely ground, about six 1-second pulses; set aside.

2.  For the filling:  Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot and add 1 Tablespoon salt.  Add the cauliflower and cook until tender on the outside but slightly crunchy inside, about 3 minutes.  Drain the cauliflower in a colander and rinse with cold water to cool.  Place the blanched cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels.

3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the flour until well combined, about 1 minute.  Whisk in the cream and bring to a boil.  Stir in the nutmeg, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, thyme, and 2/3 cup of the Parmesan until well combined, about 1 minute.  Remove the pan from the heat.

4.  Arrange the cauliflower in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish (or shallow casserole dish of similar size).  Pour the cream mixture over the cauliflower and mix gently to coat the cauliflower evenly.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan. Sprinkle the breadcrumb topping evenly over the cheese.  Bake until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling around the edges, about 10 minutes.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6 to 8.

VARIATIONS:


Cauliflower Gratin with Leeks and Gruyere:
Halve 3 small leeks lengthwise, using the white and light green parts only, and rinse well; slice crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces (you should have about 1 cup),  Follow the recipe for Cauliflower Casserole, adding the leeks along with the shallot and substituting 1 cup shredded Gruyere for the Parmesan.

Cauliflower Gratin with Ham and Cheddar:
Cut 6 ounces ham steak into 1/2-inch cubes (you should have about 1 cup).  Follow the recipe for Cauliflower Casserole, adding the ham steak along with the shallot and substituting 1 cup shredded cheddar for the Parmesan.

PLANNING AHEAD:
Complete the recipe through step 3 and refrigerate the topping, sauce, and cauliflower in separate bowls, tightly wrapped with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.  Poke several vent holes in the plastic wrap covering the sauce and microwave on medium high power, whisking occasionally until hot, 3 to 4 minutes.  Continue to assemble the casserole and bake as directed in step 4.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 05:45:01 PM by Olga Drozd »