Monday, January 4, 2010

english cauliflower cheese - the best way to eat vegetables... drowned in cheese

english cauliflower cheese - 44I spent almost a month anticipating to watch the Food Network's Super Chef Battle. The commercials were driving me insane with their ambiguousity and supposedly drama-filled plot. I have to admit, after I watched it, I thought it wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be- but, the good part was that I got some new ideas on what to do with vegetables. Apparently, people in England eat "cauliflower cheese", which is essentially our American "macaroni and cheese" but the pasta is replaced with cauliflower. Anything drowned in cheese is good in my book, and with the inclusion of a vegetable, my parents were willing to allow me to make it (they've been actually gaining weight since my arrival- go figure, lol). My mother actually helped me make it, or maybe I helped her make it? I'm not sure, but it was definitely a cooperative effort.

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I honestly love cauliflower and I can even eat it raw (which I do in most cases at my house). And once again, lucky for me- no picky eater in sight (because we all know, he wouldn't dare let a vegetable pass through his mouth).

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So first we took off all the leaves and crap (which I was surprised at how many leaves come with a huge head of cauliflower), and then we placed the baby cauliflower florets in a baking dish. After that they were put in the oven for a little while, only for them to slightly soften up and get tender.

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Meanwhile, (and by meanwhile I actually mean later at night, hence the darkness) we prepared the roux.

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English Cheddar Cheese... how fitting for an English dish. (That was completely coincidental by the way.)

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I took on the job to shred the cheese. And yes, I know, I did shred an enormous amount, but I feel that you can never have too much cheese (my parents thought otherwise and I was left to munch on the remaining leftovers- which I had no problem doing so).

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Is there anything more delicious that a cheesy liquidy goodness? Of course not!

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The warm cheese sauce was poured over the cauliflower like a warm delicious waterfall bathing the vegetables, hehe.

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My newly bathed babies were placed in the oven, only to be taken out shortly after to have a sprinkle of bread crumbs. Into the oven yet again to finish up.

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I think you can tell by just looking at it that this dish should have been called "English cheese with a small side of cauliflower" lol- because I mean, look at the ratio of cheese to vegetable.

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So much for my parents trying to eat healthy.

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If I ever do make this recipe in the future, I hope my picky-eater will try it and realize that vegetables don't always have to taste bad... (as long as they're drowned in tons and tons of cheese).

Not exact, but I'm just estimating.

bechamel cheese sauce:
I believe it is equal parts butter and flour (and I think we probably used 3 tablespoons each), and with that you make a roux. Whisk milk (I'm not sure how much, just eyeball it) until it looks like a bechamel (lol, I sound so exact right?). Add a ton of cheese (yes, a ton) until everything melts together.

Chop one large head of cauliflower and place in baking dish and bake in oven until tender. After that, pour the cheese sauce over and bake again. Take it out after a while, add bread crumbs, and bake more. Voila!

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