Sunday, June 03, 2007

Cauliflower Au Gratin - Au so good

The humble cauliflower is either a love or hate vegetable. Whilst growing up, she wasn't my friend at all. She was dull, plain and boring, with no taste whatsoever. Over the years, however, she has learnt to accessorize, and bloomed into one of the prettiest flowers of all. My all time favourite is cauliflower au gratin, which is my entry in this Weekend's Herb Blogging event, hosted by Kalyn's Kitchen, the founder of this wonderful event.

Up until I tried this version last night, I always boiled the florets with sliced celery, placed them in a baking dish, covered it with a bechamel sauce, breadcrumbs and cheese and baked until the topping was golden. Nothing wrong with that version, simple, creamy comfort food. However, this version is the tarted up cauliflower that I always knew she could be....seductive and raunchy in fact.

6 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 ounces chopped, fully cooked ham (I used ham steaks)
1-2 cloves garlic minced
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
2 tablespoons plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded tasty cheese (I used fresh parmesan)
2-3 tablespoons shredded parsley

Melt butter in a large skillet.
Saute ham and garlic for 2 minutes.
Add cauliflower and cook just until crisp tender, about 10 minutes.
Combine flour and cream until smooth; stir into skillet and blend well.
Add salt, pepper and cayenne.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Transfer to an ungreased baking dish.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Place under preheated broiler until lightly browned, about 2-4 minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley.
Serve immediately.


Kalyn said...

It does sound good. Cauliflower is one of my absolute favorites.

Kristen said...

I never thought I'd find myself drooling over cauliflower, but here I am...drooling over cauliflower! Looks delicious!

Abby said...

I love cauliflower! It's one of my most fave veggies to eat raw, too. I often steam it, top it with a few breadcrumbs, spray butter and fresh parm, and roast 'til brown. I'm going to have to try your recipe!