Cauliflower with Crumbs and Cheese Sauce

It snowed about an eighth of an inch here at the shore last night, just enough to get me dreaming about cooking up some delicious Lamb Chili. Heaven in a bowl people. I kid you not.

The sun is actually starting to peek through the clouds and I’m hoping it goes back into hiding. A gray, snowy day gives me license to stay inside and hibernate. I think I could use a day like that.

This week’s seasonal recipe from Delicious Orchards features the often maligned cauliflower. I happen to love cauliflower. I think it tastes great and there are so many ways to prepare it. It’s really a very versatile vegetable. For a ton of cauliflower recipes check out this website. (Just try to ignore the very unattractive weight loss ads which I know is pretty impossible.) Here’s an interesting tip I learned from the website:

It is recommended to soak your cauliflower for 10 minutes in salted water to draw out any insects hiding away inside.

I’ve never encountered insects in cauliflower and I’m thinking this must only be necessary if you are cooking the head whole, which the recipe below does require.

Cauliflower with Crumbs and Cheese Sauce

1 whole head 7-8 inch cauliflower
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Trim cauliflower and hollow out the core. Blanch until tender,
drain well. Heat butter until it is practically brown. Stir in the
shallots and bread crumbs, and cook until the crumbs are
brown. Put aside. Place cooked cauliflower in a 9 inch
baking dish. Make cheese sauce. (see below) Pat half of the bread
crumbs on cauliflower. Pour cheese sauce over cauliflower.
Sprinkle remaining bread crumbs. Bake in a preheated 350
degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until cauliflower is hot.

Cheese Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan and with wire whisk, stir in flour. When blended smooth, add the milk, stirring rapidly with wire whisk. When sauce is thickened and smooth, stir in the cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Delicious Orchards
The Country Food Market
Route 34
Colts Neck NJ 07722