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I wanted to share with you all a great recipe I recently discovered and ended up making for my family on New Years Eve!
I have been following Chef John of Food Wishes for a while on YouTube, and I love his videos and simple recipes that always look amazing. And every once in a while, I try to recreate the recipes myself.
So when I saw his recipe for Truffled Cauliflower Gratin, I knew I wanted to try it! And since we hosted our family for New Year`s Eve this year, I knew it was a great opportunity to try it! Luckily, it`s a pretty simple recipe so it turned out great! My family loved it, and one of my older cousin`s was so obsessed with it, he insisted on taking the leftovers home!
And since it is so simple, I thought I would share with all of you! Unfortunately for me, I forgot to take a picture of my version, among the chaos in the kitchen on New Year`s Eve (my mom and I always go overboard and cook way too much food LOL) so I`m borrowing the picture from Chef John :P
This dish sounds really expensive since truffles are very expensive, but the cheat to this is to use truffled cheese, in this case, Truffled Pecorino. Since the cheese is only dotted with the truffles, it`s not too expensive, but it is a little difficult to find.
I didn`t plan far enough in advance to order this stuff online or find a merchant that sold it, so I improvised! I bought some pecorino and just used some truffle oil. Now truffle oil can be really strong if you aren`t careful - if you actually check out the blog, Chef John actually mentions how he doesn`t really like it, but when in a crunch, a chef has to think on her feet, hence the improvisation. I shredded the pecorino and added just a splash of truffle oil and combined it. Overall, I got a subtle hint of truffle taste which is what the recipe calls for!
The rest of it is pretty easy :)
your large wedge of grated pecorino
6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
about 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (not packed)
3 cups of milk
pinch of cayenne (Chef John puts cayenne in everything, but you can skip this if you don`t want too much heat)
Little bit of ground nutmeg
1 large head of cauliflower
Plain breadcrumbs, as needed
freshly grated parmesan, as needed (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
You take a head of cauliflower and cut it up into florets, enough to fill your casserole dish. Then you blanch the florets in heavily salted water for around 6 minutes - you don`t want to cook them all the way, but rather just take away that raw flavour. The caulfilower will finish cooking in the oven. Once you blanch them, drain thoroughly and arranged back into your casserole dish which should be heavily buttered or oiled.
Next up, you need to make your bechamel cheese sauce.
In a large pot, melt the butter on low heat and add the flour. Whisk very well while continuing to cook for 2-3 minutes so you don`t have any raw flour left What Chef john says in the video is true - it does smell a little bit like cooked pie crust! LOL
At this point, you turn off the heat and add the milk and whisk very well until it is mixed. Then turn back on to medium-high, and allow the sauce to thicken as it comes to a simmer. Once you get the right consistency, turn the heat back off and add the grated cheese. It won`t completely melt all the way, but this will be going in the oven anyways, so not to worry. And the sauce will be really thick, which again, is not a problem.
Ladle the sauce over the cauliflower in the dish, and make sure to cover it as much as possible. Allow the sauce to get deep into the grooves if you can. Next, sprinkle with a good amount of the breadcrumbs so it will create a good crust. You can top this off with some more pecorino, or use parmesan, OR do what I did and use both! LOL
Lastly, so the top doesn`t dry out to much, drizzle with some olive oil, before putting it in a very hot oven - 425 for around 30 minutes. It will come out bubbling and brown which is exactly what you want!
This dish could also be a great potluck dish. Because things were so busy in our kitchen, I ended up prepping this throughout the day. The entire dish was ready for the oven about an hour and a half before our guests were supposed to arrive, so I just covered it without the breadcrumbs and extra cheese and put it in the fridge. Once it was closer to dinner time, I added the breadcrumbs, cheese and olive oil and popped it in the oven. You could totally do that for a potluck, and just make sure to bring the last few ingredients with you and cook it elsewhere! :)
This dish was a total hit, more than I expected, so I know I will be making it again. Next time, I`m going to see if I can order some of that truffled pecorino to see if it makes a difference.
Check out the blog with the YouTube video here:
Picture and video are both borrowed from here.
Source link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg2ajk7W6t4