14 December, 2011

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

I got tricked. Yep, I got tricked into making a bechamel sauce or as most would call it, a white sauce. I am not be a huge fan of eating or making white sauce as you probably can tell from the amount of red sauces my dishes contain. I have my own reasons that I will not share except that they require standing over a stove and stirring for minutes at a time.

I have always wanted to make a mac and cheese with cauliflower. My Mom sent me a cauliflower fresh from my Grandmother's garden and I thought this was the perfect opportunity. I started with a  gratin recipe and decided to tweak from there. I guess you could say my heart was already in it before my mind realized what I had committed to. Before I knew it I was standing over a pot of butter and flour, waiting patiently to add the heated milk. Yikes! It was too late. I was making a "white sauce". So I gave in and finished. Don't get me wrong, it was creamy and comforting and delicious. Dang it, you tricky white sauce!

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
Adapted from
Smitten Kitchen, Adapted from Ina Garten
1/2 pound pasta
1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into small florets
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup freshly grated white cheddar
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta al dente and drain. Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes, until tender and drain. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, cheddar and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan.
Pour pasta on the bottom of an 9 x 12 inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the sauce on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned.

13 December, 2011

Fried Egg Bread

I have heard many times about a breakfast tradition that people remember as children involving a piece of bread with a hole in it and a fried egg in the middle. I thought surely this must have been an urgban legend since I never saw one of these and my family ate fried eggs and toast every morning. I finally set out to investigate this myth and what I found was truth. Fun, easy and yummy truth.

Fried Egg Bread (aka "Toad in the Hole")
1-2 tbsp butter
1 piece of toast
1 egg
Using a small glass, make a cirlce on the bread and use a knife to cut out the cirle. Melt butter in a hot skillet. Place the bread in the skillet for about 30 seconds and then crack the egg into the center. After the egg white is set, flip the bread and cook your egg to your preference. Remember to set the circle that you removed in the butter also and let it crisp up.

 Did someone make this dish for you growing up? What did you call it?

And if you are fancy like me, you can try to do four at a time: