Friday, December 12, 2008

Cauliflower Gratin

Gratin is a French casserole type French side Dish which is covered with Bechamel sauce and topped with buttered Breadcrumbs or grated cheese and baked or broiled and has a golden crust.The word literally means crust.I have wanted to cook a gratin before and found a wonderful recipe here at Food Network.Bechamel or white sauce is base for all other sauces in French Cuisine and is prepared by adding hot milk to the flour -melted butter mix.Once you make this sauce,rest is very easy.You can use any other vegetable or combo of veggies or even leftovers to make a gratin dish.I used cauliflower and few pieces of fennel stems to make this gratin.

Cauliflower: 1 small head of cauliflower
Anise/Fennel stem (optional):few cut pieces

All Purpose Flour: 1-2 tbsp
Unsalted Butter: 2 tbsp
Hot Milk: 1 cup +
Parmesan Cheese: 1/4 cup+/- as per choice
Gruyere cheese: 1/4 cup+/- as per choice

Spices:as per taste
Red Chilli Flakes (optional)

Gruyere or any Swiss Cheese : 1/2 cup+/-

Additional(optional) Ingredients:
Butter: Unsalted & Melted : 2 tbsp

Chop cauliflower into bitesized pieces and parboil in salted water.Drain and Keep aside.I had a big fennel/anise stem of which I added few cut pieces, just to see what happens.I added these as such,but if using potatoes or similar veggies,it is better to parboil chopped pieces of these along with cauliflower.

In a small sauce pan,melt butter.Keep the heat to medium-low while doing this.As soon as it is melted,add flour to it and keep on stirring with a fork/whisk/wooden spoon till it blends.Then add hot milk and continute whisking till it reaches a boil.Boil this milk stirring/whisking continuously for 1 minute or so until it thickens into a creamy sauce.Take off the heat.

Add the spices and salt to the sauce and whisk well.Add freshly grated parmesan cheese and gruyere cheese and whisk well.I used swiss cheese blend.Check for salt and adjust as per taste.You can add as much spices as per taste,though the riginal recipe has only nutmeg and pepper.I am a spicy person and so added my "secret ingredient" of red chilli flakes.

Spread 1/3 of the sauce into a baking dish,top this with cauliflower and other veggies if using.It looks like..

and then spread the rest of the sauce over the caulifower as evenly as possible.

Prepare the crust by mixing fresh dry breadcrumbs and gruyere/swiss cheese. Spread the crust mix evenly over the sauce-cauliflower layers.Top this with melted unsalted butter and then sprinkle salt and pepper.I thought the dish had already too much butter and so avoided the spreading with melted butter.I simply added little salt and pepper over the breadcrumbs.

It looks like....

Bake on a preheated oven at 375F for 25-30 minutes or until the top is browned.Serve as a side dish with rice,pasta or bread.

I must add that mine did not look browned at all.May be due to my cranky oven or may be bcoz I avoided the melted butter or I do not know.I tried an additional 15 minutes ,but still it did not look that brown.But the taste was excellent,that I can assure you.I even wrapped it in a roti and enjoyed it.

On a Joyous Note:

I have been showered with awards from fellow bloggers past month.I am very honoured to accept these wonderful gifts from wonderful and esteemed blogger friends and will be displaying them on the blog as soon as possible.I would like to acknowledge the latest heartfelt awards through this post:
The lovely trophy for Recipe Marathon from DK of CulinaryBazaar

And the Best Blogger Friends Award from Hema of AdlaksTiny World where she is celebrating the completion of 100 posts in her blog.

I have also been tagged by Usha of VegInspirations for the worthy cause of BreadLine Africa.Thanks Usha,its an honour as its for a worthy cause.I have already done the tag and you can find it here.


Yasmeen said...

It must be fun cooking up such versatile meals.Gratin with cauliflower looks yummy:)

soma said...

Looks lovely, Ah ! some of that on these chilly winter nights. I have been wanting to make the veg. augratin for the longest time now. This hub of the season is making me put it off.
Soma (

Cham said...

Cauliflower is better than potato :) Looks gooey and creamy!

Cham said...

BTW Congrats for ur awards!

Andhra Flavors said...

ohh its looks different. should be tasty.

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

congrats on ur trophy CL. it is a great's not an easy task to come up with an eye catching recipe everyday. cauliflower gratin looks so yummmm.. very rich dish indeed!

Alka said...

This is new to me, but it does look cheesy enough to please my kid,who loves anything with cheese !

Pavani said...

looking yummy n creamy yaar...

lubnakarim06 said...

Something new to me. With all those strong flavoured spices it may taste gr8. Congrats on the awards.

Finla said...

I love this gratin. I do make them once a while but then with brocolii.
Seeing your picture is making me wish i had that for lunch. It looks delciious and creamy.

anudivya said...

Wow, I love it. Will surely try it since I am a huge fan of cauliflowers
Congrats on the awards!

Sunshinemom said...

The gratin looks delicious, Sweatha! I have a feeling they didn't turn brown because they wanted to go to FIC - White:)

Congrats on your well deserved awards!

Unknown said...

Congrats on all your awards!

Even my oven refuses to brown properly. I've been putting off buying a new one, but might have to do so soon

Unknown said...

Congrats on your award! What a unique dish, never heard of before, have to make it someday:)

PG said...

gratin looks so tempting! I made cauliflower today, but the indian style :D
Yes, I love to make gratins too. You've made a wonderful choice of cheese with cauliflower here. Have to try it sometime soon. :)
And congratulations on the Awards!

Priya Suresh said...

Lovely gratin CL.. would love to have those creamy cauliflower...

Srikitchen said...

wow! that looks delicious!
do visit my blog when u find time!
join in the "sweet" event going in my blog!

Adlak's tiny world said...

New and yummy dish... looks lovely.

notyet100 said...

hey this looks so nice,...nd yummy,..i am goin nuts,..goin through ur posts,..everythin looks so yummy,..:-)

Pavani said...

round up of microwave cooking with cheese

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