Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 91: Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Happy April Fools Day everyone! I thought about trying to trick all of you, like maybe saying I was giving up on my little project here, but I didn't have the heart to do it. I've never been a good liar, just ask my mom, she always caught me whenever I tried to put one past her! Ha Ha!
Well, I had one more head of cauliflower in the fridge that was calling my name. I found what looked like a good recipe at My Kitchen Cafe the other day that I wanted to try. It is one of those gooey, cheesy veggie dishes that I was going to try to stay away from this year. I knew it wouldn't last long! So, bring on the cheese. Most of my kids aren't fond of cauliflower. My 2 year old loves it, but the rest of them just tolerate it, so I didn't expect this recipe to get rave reviews from them. But since cauliflower is one of my many favorite veggies, I cooked it just for me!

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake
10" dutch oven

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup + 1 Tbs. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup + 1 Tbs. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2 Tbs. melted butter, divided
2 cloves minced garlic, divided
salt and pepper
1 Tbs. flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 large cauliflower head, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch florets
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
In a bowl, mix 1 Tbs. melted butter, 1 Tbs. cheddar cheese, 1 Tbs. Monterrey Jack cheese, 1 clove minced garlic, pinch of salt and pepper and the bread crumbs. Set aside. In your DO, combine the remaining butter, garlic and flour. I used about 12 coals for this. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the cream and broth. Stir in cauliflower, dry mustard, thyme, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is nearly tender, 6-8 minutes. I used 8 coals on the bottom and 8 on top. Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses. Top with bread crumbs and bake at 450* or until crumbs are golden and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. I used 19 coals on top and 10 on the bottom. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
The Finished Product

The Review
I really expected more out of this recipe. I was a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it was good, it just wasn't really good. It wasn't cheesy enough, for one thing, and it was just missing something. The recipe was a little fussy with the simmering and then baking. I think I could have just baked the whole thing for 20 minutes and gotten the same result. If I make this again, I will do some tweaking. But I probably won't make it as its written. All that being said, it was worth trying, and after I mess around with the recipe a bit, I think it will turn into something I really like. It has potential. Grade B- for now.

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