I used to work in a coffee shop once. It was in The Country. People in The Country have this amazing habit of ordering main courses as a sort of side dish. Especially sausages, for some unbeknown reason.
‘I’ll have lasagna, chips, oooh and a nice wee sausage on the side.”
Or “a cheese and ham toastie…and a sausage.”
I’m sure it makes sense in their wee country heads. Somehow. I’m not exactly sure HOW, but it makes sense.
This recipe isn’t about sausages, but it is a dish, that, in my humble opinion, is far too often relegated to be a side dish, an afterthought, which IS VERY WRONG INDEED. I mean, my recipe involves CHEESE and BACON and WINE and ALL MANNER OF DELICIOUS THINGS, so SHOULD NOT BE RELEGATED TO THE SIDE.
Take your ingredients: lardons (I initially typed ‘bacons’, which made me giggle a little, so I thought I’d share. Bet you’re pleased, right?), milk, cheese (I used Gruyère), mustard and cauliflower.
Start by grating the cheese. I wasn’t going to bother with a picture, but it’s been a while since this lady has been out, so here she is, in all her demonic glory.
Melt the butter in a pan…
Add the bacon…
Actually add the suggested amount of bacon, and then A BIT MORE, because, here, we have the quite wonderful combination of butter and bacon, and well, if you don’t sample that when cooking, you are a greater man than I (or perhaps a slightly lesser man, because then you are not carrying around all that extra lard in your BMI).
While that is doing its thing, dice up the onion…
And then add to the bacon bits.
Separate out the cauliflower into florets…
And put on to steam for a little while.
Once the bacon is crispy, stir in the flour…
And once all the flour has been incorporated into a thick paste, add some wine…
And, erm, the other stuff I forgot to photograph individually.
Whisk, like Raymond Blanc on speed, till the whole lot is nice and smooth…
And then stir in the cooked cauliflower.
Now, the mixture before you (once transferred to a dish), will be good enough to eat at this stage, but there is one way to improve this beauty a bit more.
More cheese. Sprinkle liberally over the top…
And then place under a hot grill until brown and crispy.
Serve with a green salad, and some crusty bread.
NOT a lasagna.
Serves 2. Cooking time 30 minutes.
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp mustard
50ml white wine
1. Grate the cheese.
2. Melt the butter over a medium heat.
3. Dice the bacon, if necessary. Add to the butter.
4. Dice the onion, and add to the bacon bits and butter.
5. Separate out the cauliflower florets, and steam for about 4 minutes, or until tender.
6. Add the flour to the bacon and onion and stir until all the flour is incorporated.
7. Add the wine, stirring well.
8. Add the mustard, milk, and 100g of the cheese.
9. Whisk well until smooth.
10. Stir in the cooked cauliflower and transfer to an ovenproof dish.
11. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese, and place under a hot grill until brown and crispy, about 5 minutes.