There are some homely meals that no one can cook quite like your mother. For This Little Pig this includes; chicken soup, potato bake, roast chicken, drunken peaches, spaghetti (to name a few) and last but not least cauliflower cheese. This dish is one of This Little Pig’s all time favourite meals. It would chop off a trotter for a giant dish of this on a cold and wet night to accompany a roast chicken. Therefore, whilst This Little Pig was away on the weekend with its parents, this fine swine had a brilliant idea; “mum can do my blog for me.” Genius. So this sneaky porcine got its lovely mum into the kitchen to make the all time famous cauliflower cheese. One young (but old enough to know better) piglet in attendance had never tried this glorious dish. Shrieks and murmurs of horror ran through the holidaying piglets when this was mentioned and luckily the issue was soon fixed. This poor piglet was soon nodding its head vigorously in agreement that yes, cauliflower cheese can change lives.
So this dish is just sensational. It’s comforting, warming and incredible. It is the perfect side to anything to do with roasted meats but does not exclude being served on toast for breakfast with crispy chorizo or next to lovely seared steak w mushroom gravy. So step into This Little Pigs mums’ kitchen and revel in the magnificence of cauliflower cheese. As a side note piglets, when choosing your in season cauliflower be sure to look at your local greengrocer, as This Little Pig found a $5 discrepancy in price between it’s local spot and a big shopping retailer that can’t be named but its name starts with a C and rhymes with moles.
Panko & Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower Cheese
Feeds: 6 Hungry Piglets (as a side)
Prep Time: 20 Mins. Cooking Time: 1 Hr.
Ingredients For Cauliflower Magic:
1 x Cauliflower Head
1 x Litre of Milk
3 x Tbs Flour
50g x Butter
2 x Garlic Cloves
¼ x Thyme Bunch
½ x Parsley Bunch
1.5 x Cup Cheddar Cheese (Grated)
50g x Blue Cheese
50g x Parmesan Cheese
1 x Tbs Dijon Mustard
½ x Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
Good scrunches of pepper (and salt if that’s your thing)
Method For Cauliflower Magic:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Chop cauliflower into small trees.
- Place in a casserole dish that fits all of your cauliflower snugly.
- Scatter 2 Tbs of water over the cauliflower and pop into the microwave for 5-10 mins or until soft through.
- Finely dice your garlic and roughly chop your parsley.
- Pour your milk into a pan and gently heat until warm (this is the secret step of Bron FYI).
- Drop your butter into another medium sized pot (big enough to hold over 1 litre) and melt on a high heat until bubbling.
- Drop in your diced garlic and stir until garlic starts to turn lightly golden.
- Turn down to a medium heat and scatter in your flour (3 Tbs) and stir briskly with a whisk until the flour and butter have combined to form a crumble. Add in your Dijon mustard and give it a quick stir.
- Now pour just a little splash of milk into the pan and stir quickly to help it form a paste and it starts to go a little golden brown.
- Now slowly add about ¼ of a cup of the milk at a time and stir constantly ensuring that no lumps form.
- Continue this process of stirring and adding milk until all the milk is used up – stirring constantly.
- Keep it gently cooking away until it starts to thicken.
- Scatter in 1 cup of your cheddar (saving 1/2 a cup for the top later), crumble in your blue cheese (50g) and grate in 1/2 of your Parmesan cheese (25g - saving 1/2 for the top later) and then stir adding a good scrunch of pepper into the equation.
- Continue to gently heat and stir until your sauce is a lovey thick texture – you have successfully navigated a béchamel or white sauce – well done piglet!
- Take your cauliflower that is now lovely and soft (but still firm enough to be a tree dear piglet). Scatter over your parsley and thyme leaves (remove from the stem).
- Now pour your white sauce lavishly all over your cauliflower. The desired outcome is that it covers all of your little white trees of cauliflower.
- Scatter the last of your Parmesan over the top (25g) and your cheddar (1/2 cup) and then sprinkle over your panko breadcrumbs (1/2 cup) to cover the top.
- Finish with a good scrunch of pepper and then pop into the oven to cook for around 1 hour. You want the sauce to have thickened and a lovely crunchy golden top to have formed. (Note: if your top starts to burn and the sauce hasn’t thickened – cover with foil and continue to cook at a slightly lower heat).
And that my dear piglets, is how you reach food nirvana with a little bit of cauliflower. Oink. Thanks Mum xx