cauliflower cheese with a differencerating:
This is my own version of a traditional favourite.
I medium-sized cauliflower
4 large, hardboiled eggs
40g plain flour
an eighth to a quarter teaspoon each of dry mustard power and cayenne (depending upon your taste)
2-3 handfuls of grated mixed Parmesan and Cheddar
breadcrumbs (preferably dry) for topping
small pieces of butter
Pre-heat oven to 200C.
Slice cauliflower into strips rather than florets (this makes for more even cooking). Remove bits of stalk, then steam the cauli for four minutes. Remove from steamer, shake off any clinging moisture and pile into an ovenproof dish.
Chop the hardboiled eggs roughly and combine with the cauliflower in the dish.
Melt the 40g butter on gentle heat. Add the flour, mustard powder and cayenne. Stir to blend with butter, and allow to cook gently for a minute or two, taking care not to let it burn.
Pour in the 500mls milk and stir well. If you can’t be bothered to stand over the sauce stirring it to eliminate lumps, take a stick blender to it after it begins to come to the boil. Once the sauce is smooth, take it off the heat, add two thirds of the grated cheese and stir to incorporate. Season with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg to taste.
Pour the sauce on top of the cauliflower and egg mixture, making sure that every bit is covered in sauce. Now, sprinkle remaining grated cheese over the top of the dish, then cover with breadcrumbs. Dot the top with tiny pieces of butter. Put in the oven for about 20 minutes. If the topping isn’t browning to your satisfaction, give the dish a blast under the grill to finish off – but be careful not to burn the crumbs.