Comfort Food is Family Food
Most kids head to bikini and beer infested beaches for Spring Break, but not for my youngest. He came home to visit his parents, and we are tickled pink. So far, he has helped build a palapa (a palm thatched roof gazebo) with his dad, helped with the chickens, helped us install a new clothes dryer, and helped his friends with their homework. I. Love. This. Kid.
Home Cooked Meals instead of Dorm Food
His course of study right now are to go to medical school, and he starts summer school in a month, right after his school year lets out. Such a hard worker! He really had no fancy plans for his week away from school, so I decided I could at least cook a few nice meals for him, and let him sleep as much as he wanted between feeding chickens and moving major appliances.
When he was little, we always joked that his favorite foods were anything white: Mashed potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, hot cereal, yogurt…I could go on. So I came up with this delicious Baked Cauliflower with Cheese and Breadcrumbs that fit his profile, and served it with a grilled steak. Cauliflower is white, therefore I figured he would love it. And he did.
Baked Cauliflower with Cheese and Breadcrumbs is Comfort Food
Pan toasting the bread crumbs a bit before topping the casserole makes a difference in the crisp texture of the topping once you serve the dish. And, you can always touch up the browning of the breadcrumbs under a heated broiler right before you serve.
I’m going to end this post now. I can hear that he’s awake, so maybe I will go see what he wants for breakfast.
Baked Cauliflower with Cheese and Breadcrumbs
- Yield: 6-8 Servings
- 1 1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs (180gr)
- 2 cups milk (500ml)
- 2 tbsp. all purpose flour (16gr)
- 4 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (452gr)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 large cauliflower, washed and chopped
- Heat a 9″ (22cm) skillet, over medium heat, and add 6 tbsp. (84gr) of butter, and half of the chopped onion. Saute until the onions are slightly brown. Add the breadcrumbs, and toast over medium heat until all of the butter is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a 2 qt (2 lt) saucepan, heat the remaining butter and onions. Saute the onions for about a minute. Add the flour, and stir well so that all of the butter is absorbed. Whisk in the milk, and continue stirring over medium heat until the mixture is thickened. Whisk in the shredded cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Once the sauce is smooth and thick, remove from the heat.
- Heat your oven to 350°F (176°C). Add the chopped cauliflower to the saucepan of cheese sauce, coating the cauliflower well. Spoon the cauliflower into a 3.5qt baking dish, pouring any remaining sauce onto the top. Cover with foil, and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Remove the baking dish from the oven, and switch the oven setting to “broiler.”
- Remove the foil from the cauliflower, and top with the breadcrumbs. Place the dish under the heated broiler, and let the breadcrumbs crisp for 3-5 minutes, until they reach a desired level of golden brown. Serve immediately.