Monday, January 27, 2014

The Best Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese


              I am forever looking for new vegetarian recipes to try out on my family. We are working on eating meatless meals around 4 days a week and on the days we do eat meat, I am trying to make those more of a side dish and not the main meal. We are big meat eaters in the family and always will be..but wow has the price of beef and poultry gone up! I don't see them going down any time soon either!

This recipe comes from Jamie Oliver's new cookbook called,Save with Jamie. He has a show to go along with it and as soon as I saw him make this,I went straight online to find the recipe. It's amazing. There is no cream of anything in here and what you end up doing is making a wonderful broccoli soup to go on top of the cauliflower that is then baked in the oven with an amazing topping of homemade breadcrumbs,almonds and thyme. It's cheap to make,healthy,tastes fantastic,and can be made either as a side dish or as a main meal. We had it like that with fresh bread to go along the side. This will be showing up again and again in our house. If you want to add in some meat,go ahead. I think it would be great with some diced up ham or shredded chicken..but trust me on this. It's fantastic on its own.

Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese

2 Cloves of Garlic,minced or sliced thin
50g ( 4 TBS) Unsalted Butter
50g (4 TBS) All-purpose Flour
500ml ( 2 cups) Low-fat Milk
500g ( 1 lb.) Frozen Broccoli Florets
75g ( 3 oz) Shredded Sharp Cheddar or cheese of choice
1 Kilo ( 2 pounds) Frozen Cauliflower Florets..or cut into florets
2 Slices of Stale Bread
2 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme or 1 tsp. of dried
25 g ( 2 TBS) Flaked Almonds
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celsius. Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a medium pan over medium heat,add the butter and garlic. Once the butter has melted,whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for one minute. Slowly add in the milk and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth. Add the broccoli and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is cooked through and begins to break down. At this point you need to make the mixture smooth,so either use a heat proof blender or a stick blender and process until smooth. Add in half of the shredded cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange the cauliflower florets in prepared dish and pour the broccoli sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

In a food processor,blitz the bread into breadcrumbs,then pulse in the thyme and almonds. Add in around 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt,pulse until everything is covered ( you don't need a bunch of oil,just enough to coat the crumbs so that they get nice and crispy while baking.) Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the broccoli sauce.

Bake for 1 hour or until the cauliflower is soft and cooked through.

** To make things easier when baking this,I suggest you allow the frozen cauliflower to semi defrost while you get everything else made. I cut everything up evenly to insure it would all bake up in one hour**

Yield: 8 as a side dish or 4 with leftover as a main meal
Source: Jamie Oliver