Cauliflower Au Gratin

Cauliflower Gratin Back

Ingredients

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1.5 cups cream
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock (preferably concentrated)
  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1 inch florets
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated good quality Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Tarragon leaves, roughly chopped (use dried if you can’t find fresh)

 

Directions

I’m a firm believer that if you add cheese to anything it makes it taste better especially vegetables.  Cauliflower I think is one of those great fall veggies that when mixed with cheese, sauce, and the crunch of toasted bread crumbs is more of a comfort food that makes you feel good inside.

Dice the onion into a fine dice and add along with into a 2-quart saucepan with a splash of Olive oil and sweat (until softened) and then add the chicken stock bay leaf and cream.  To make this dish vegetarian you can use vegatable stock instead of chicken stock and for a lower fat version, use milk (whole or reduced fat) instead of cream.  Set the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer.  Cook without boiling for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve or strainer. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Steam the cauliflower until just tender, about 10 minutes. Arrange the cauliflower in a shallow 2-quart casserole dish and set aside as you prepare the sauce.

In a 2-quart saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the flour to the pan and stir to form a blond roux. (Do not allow the mixture to brown.)  Add the simmered, strained cream/chicken stock to the pan and whisk until smooth.  Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened, smooth, and creamy. Combine the grated Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses.  Remove the pan from the heat and add ½ of the grated cheese mix, stirring until melted.  Strain the sauce and pour evenly over the cauliflower.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in an 8-inch sauté pan and add the bread crumbs. Toss well to coat. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and the chopped Tarragon. Sprinkle the remaining cheese mix and the bread crumbs evenly over the top of the cauliflower and bake until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly, about 25 minutes.  Enjoy!

Chef Bill

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