Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cauliflower Cheese, and Cheeky Little Bastards

This morning, as the first field mouse of Autumn went scurrying across the kitchen floor, Danny screamed, "You cheeky little bastard!"

I tried not laughing, really I did. It was like he was channeling my Gran. He's six. I don't really think that's appropriate for a six year old, funny or not. It was rather funny. Then, I made cauliflower cheese, so apparently I have Grandmother on the brain today as well. I can't think of a more old fashioned dish, but it was a cold evening, and what could be better? Not much, but let's not try to deceive ourselves, this isn't health food. I did use 2% milk to compensate for the four tablespoons of butter and 2 cups of cheese. I don't think that helped. Fortunately, it isn't the sort of thing you can devour a large helping of, so there's that built-in restraint. Maybe I can put some in the mouse traps for bait tonight. Cheeky little bastards, indeed.

Use any combination of cheese you like.

You Will Need:

1 head cauliflower, cut into florettes and lightly steamed
1/2 cup grated Red Leicester cheese
1/2 cup cheddar
1/2 cup Swiss
1/2 cup Double Gloucester
1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
Paprika for sprinkling
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder (more or less to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Steam cauliflower and set aside to dry. Combine cheeses in a bowl, then remove 1/4 to another bowl, mix with breadcrumbs, and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon, stir until foamy. With a wire whisk, slowly whisk in the milk. Add salt/pepper/mustard. Whisk over medium heat until it comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat, stir in all but the reserved cheese, and stir until smooth (do a handful at a time). Place cauliflower in a buttered casserole. Pour sauce over. Top with cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake about 30-40 minutes or until bubbly.

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