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Sunday Dinner / 12 February 2006 // Cauliflower Gratin

Yes it's cauliflower, NO it is *not* good for you. I was actually a bit disappointed in this recipe, but admittedly I also kind of messed it up...I wasn't really paying attention and I accidentially added 1 full teaspoon of nutmeg instead of a quarter teaspoon. Yech. To counter it, I added more cheese, pepper and salt, and fresh garlic in the baking dish. I think I also added paprika. In the end, it wasn't a total waste (the husband cleaned his plate) but to me it tasted like egg nog gone horribly wrong.

However, I do think it needs more cheese, and I'd use the garlic instead of nutmeg if I make this again. I guess I just don't like nutmeg in savory dishes.

Oh - and I didn't drain the cauliflower long enough, so when I put it in the dish to bake the water made the gratin really watery. LET THOSE CAULIFLOWERS DRAIN PEOPLE!

Wow. This was kind of a disaster, actually.

Cauliflower Gratin from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten (pg 156)
Serves 4-6

1 3 pound head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmeasan cheese
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling water for 5-6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden 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, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere and the Parmesan cheese.

Pour one thrid of the sauce on the bottom of an 8x11x2 inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper/ Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot at room temperature.