Cauliflower cheese is one of my favourite dishes for a cold winter’s evening. Here’s a recipe for how I make it – there are of course plenty of others out there.
- 1 largish cauliflower (will make enough for 3 to 4 people, depending on appetite)
- 1 and 1/2 pints of milk (semi-skimmed is fine)
- 100g butter
- 100g flour
- 200 – 300g of grated cheddar cheese (or similar)
- 4 to 6 eggs (hard boiled)
- 2 teaspoons of English mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste
- If your eggs aren’t already hard boiled start off by bringing them to a boil in a pan of water, and boil for about 10 mins. You can do this while cooking the cauliflower, and making the sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C(160°C fan), Gas 4 or 5.
- Strip down the cauliflower to individual florets, wash and place in a pan of water, and bring to a boil.
- Place the butter in another pan over a medium heat. Once melted add the flour, and combine to a smooth paste.
- Add a little of the milk and stir into the flour/butter paste, again until smooth. Repeat this once or twice more with a little milk each time. Finally add all of the remaining milk and continue to stir. Keep stirring until the sauce begins to thicken (you may find it helpful to use a small whisk at this point rather than a spoon), stir continuously to prevent any lumps forming.
- As the sauce thickens, add the mustard, salt & pepper and stir in.
- Next add about three-quarters of the cheese a little at the time, and allow it to combine with the sauce, keep stirring!
- Turn off the heat under the sauce. Drain the cauliflower, removing as much water as possible, and tip into the cheese sauce, and mix to coat all of the cauliflower with the sauce. Put the lid onto this pan to retain the heat.
- Take the hard boiled eggs, shell them and cut in half. Place them in the bottom of an oven proof dish.
- Tip the cheese and cauliflower mixture on top of the eggs. Grate a little nutmeg over the top, and cover with the remaining cheese.
- Cook in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese on top is a golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
- Serve on it’s own or with some crusty bread.