I've been besieged by cheese cravings lately. I may be using the word cheese a little bit loosely, because these cravings unequivocally include a desperate desire for Cheetos (the cheese that goes crunch), but oh, how I love anything cheesy. It's possible this cauliflower gratin may have triggered my recent sufferings. When I opened the oven door the air filled with the most delicious, mouthwatering, buttery cheesy aroma; I was struck by a strong desire to shout "MINE" and push Ryan from the room. Somehow I managed to regain control and actually serve it for dinner. But as I mentioned, I'm still harboring loving thoughts about cheese.
CHEESY CAULIFLOWER GRATIN
from Ina Garten
Reader: Hey, doesn't gratin mean all cheesy and browned and yummy? Why do you have call it a Cheesy Gratin?
Me: It's just that it's so full of cheesy goodness. I love cheesy goodness. Who asked you anyway?
1 head cauliflower
salt and pepper
4 T butter (2 for sauce, 2 for drizzling over the top)
3 T flour
2 C milk
1 to 1 1/4 C cheddar cheese grated
1/2 C parmesan cheese grated
1/4 C bread crumbs
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
Cut the cauliflower into florets, if you like the stem, you can chop that up into smaller bits to. Fill a large pot with water, salt liberally and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the cauliflower and cook 5-6 minutes until tender enough, but not mushy at all. Remove from heat and drain.
Warm the milk in a small saucepan. In another pan, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and stir continuously until completely incorporated. Slowly add the warm milk and whisk to keep the sauce nice and smooth. Once the milk is all added, you can add all the cheese bit by bit, holding back 1/4 C of the cheddar for the topping. Stir as you go so the sauce stays smooth. Add the nutmeg, then add salt and pepper the sauce to taste. Get a large baking dish (like a 9x11) and put down a layer of the sauce (use about a third of the sauce). Add your cauliflower to the baking dish. Top with the rest of the sauce. Mix the remaining 1//4 C of cheddar with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of your cauliflower, cover well. Then melt the remaining 2 T of butter (I used the microwave) and drizzle that over the top. Pop in the oven and bake 25-30 minutes.