A CookBook Recipes & Other Stuff or How to Keep the Kids from Developing Beriberi After They've Moved Away From Home

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin

A really good way to make cauliflower - if I had to name it, I would have called it a cheesy bacon cauliflower popover. It is a modified version of a recipe from Around My French Table by Dorrie Greenspan, who describes it as sort of like a quiche, but if you add flour, it is really more popoverish.

1 cauliflower
1/4 pound bacon, cut crosswise into slender strips
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 ounces Gruyere (I used Swiss), grated

Preheat oven to 425F

Generously butter an oven-going pan that holds about 2 1/2 quarts. (It's not elegant and it's a tad too big, but a 9-by-13-inch Pyrex pan is fine.)

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Pull or cut the florets from the cauliflower, leaving about an inch or so of stem. Drop the florets into the boiling water and cook for 7 minutes.

Drain, rinse the cauliflower under cold running water to cool it down.

While the cauliflower is cooking, toss the bacon strips into a heavy skillet, put the skillet over medium heat, and cook just until the bacon is browned but not crisp. Drain and pat dry. ( I just cooked whole and crumbled it crisp because I hate soggy bacon)

Spread the cauliflower out in the buttered pan, and scatter over the bacon bits.

Put the flour in a bowl and gradually whisk in the eggs. When the flour and eggs are blended, whisk in the cream and milk. Season the mixture with salt, and pepper, and stir in about two thirds of the cheese.

Pour the mixture over the cauliflower, shake the pan a little so that the liquid settles between the florets, and scatter over the remaining cheese.

Bake the gratin for about 25 minutes, or until it is puffed and golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top isn't as brown as you'd like it to be, run it under the broiler for a couple of minutes.

It's good as a side dish, but I've eaten it for breakfast just by itself (people who are known to eat cold pizza for breakfast shouldn't comment).

I made some with leftover roast chicken added - makes a good meal all by itself ...

Another note : I cook the bacon whole and crumble it when it's done