Friday, August 17, 2012

Cauliflower gratin with gratin-tude to Jacques Pepin


The whim to make this struck me as I emerged from REM sleep and heard Scooper whimpering, the sound that simply indicates, "Get the heck out of bed so I can pee and have my breakfast." It was 5:30 am, during the final hour of what had been a dark but not dark and stormy night. This gratin was made to accompany seafood burgers made from shrimp and swai, which I learned is a form of farmed catfish from Asia. I've posted shrimp and catfish burgers before and will not impose them on you again (even though they may have been the best I have ever made - maybe tomorrow; maybe next week). Anyhow, here's the gratin.

Cauliflower gratin
adapted from a recipe by Jacques Pepin
1 head of c-flower, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs
paprika to taste
3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs AP flour
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
3/4 gruyere cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup 1/2 and 1/2
nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Jacques mistake was blanching the c-flower for too long. I knocked a minute off his time and still wished I done a shorter stint in the boiling water. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the c-flower into large florets. Drop them into the water and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking. Place the florets, stems down, in a casserole that is just large enough to hold them (mine was about 5" x 9"). Sprinkle them with paprika.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a saute pan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook 3 minutes whisking constantly. Don't let the heat be so high that the roux (that's what this is, by the way) takes on color. Stir in the milk and 1/2 & 1/2 and mascarpone. Bring to a simmer, add some salt and pepper, and cook until thickened, 5 minutes perhaps, stirring frequently. Pour this over the c-flower, top with the cheeses and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese has browned and is bubbling.

3 comments:

Jenn said...

I've never been a big fan of cauliflower - but - put it with all that cheese and I bet I would change my mind about it :)

Rebecca Subbiah said...

this looks great and lovely idea to serve with seafood burgers

Chris said...

I had a bit of shrimp burger that Mike Davis cooked in a cooking class last year, it was good. I have to admit my first thought was, "Ewwww".

Cauliflower doesn't get a lot of play in our house, I need to make it for my broccoli freak, Trevor.

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