How To Make Traditional British Cauliflower Cheese

cauliflowerThis traditional British dish probably dates from around the mid 1600s when it was eaten by the less well off as a meal in itself with no accompaniment.

At its simplest it consist of broken up cauliflower florets lightly boiled, then covered with a grated hard cheese, most often cheddar melted in hot milk and baked in the oven.

Over the centuries an enormous variety of differing recipes have evolved on the original but cheese and milk remain the basic ingredients.

Our Favourite Cauliflower Cheese – very simple, very tasty and totally delicious.

One medium cauliflower broken into florets and steamed for 10-15 minutes.

For the Sauce:

  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) milk
  • 15 gms (1/2 oz) butter
  • 15gms (1/2 oz) flour
  • 150 gms (1/4 lb) approx Cheddar
    or other hard cheese grated
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Method

Prepare the white sauce by blending melted butter and plain flower in a pan over a low heat.

Stir in the milk to make a smooth thickish sauce. Keep stirring over a low heat while slowly adding the grated cheese.

Stir in the cayenne and salt to taste.

Transfer the cauliflower to an open ovenproof dish and pour over the cheese sauce.

Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top and put into a preheated oven at 200 degrees for about an hour or until the topping turns a rich golden.

Delicious on its own or as an accompaniment to roast meats or cold ham.

NB. Onions, nutmeg, bay leaves, grated gruyere or other cheeses, eggs, chopped tomatoes or sliced as a topping, parsley, breadcrumbs and mustard powder are among the many variations that can be added or substituted.

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