Chilli Cauliflower Cheese
Cauliflower has to be one of the most boring vegetables ever, I’ve never really got on with it unless it’s been spiced to hell with curry spices, in picallili or covered in cheese so when I found a cauliflower in the shopping trolley I knew there was only one thing to do with it.
I think this is a pretty traditional cauliflower cheese recipe that I just tweaked a little, had I had more time to plan I’d have swapped some or all of the cheddar for some chilli cheese like Mexicana or Dutch Hot.
- 1 Medium cauliflower, broken down into florets.
- 125g strong cheddar cheese, grated
- 500ml semi skimmed milk.
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 red chilli, split in half
- 3 cloves
- 5 peppercorns
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- 50g butter
- 50g plain flour
- 25g parmesan, grated
- large pinch of grated nutmeg
- Tabasco (optional)
- 4 tbsp natural breadcrumbs.
- White pepper
- 1/2 tsp English mustard powder.
- Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees C
- Place the milk, bay leaf, nutmeg, cloves, peppercorns and red chilli in a pan and warm through, set aside for as long as possible to infuse the flavours into the milk before straining into a jug.
- Wipe the pan clean
- Fill the pan with boiling water, add some salt then add the cauliflower, cook for 3-4minutes until the cauliflower is al-dente.
- Drain the cauliflower and place in a large ovenproof dish.
- Wipe the plan clean
- Melt the butter in the pan before whisking in the flour to form a paste.
- Now gradually add the milk mixture whilst whisking until you’ve used all of the milk, heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally so that the sauce starts to thicken, once the sauce is nice and thick remove from the heat and stir in half of the parmesan and 3/4 of the cheddar cheese and all of the mustard powder.
- Taste then season with salt and pepper
- Tip over your cauliflower and mix well.
- Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top of the cauliflower, sprinkle the chilli flakes over along with the breadcrumbs
- Bake in the oven for 30-40minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the top is nice and crispy.
- Serve with a dash of Tabasco.