Vegetarian Cauliflower Cheese
Member recipe by sailorgirl700
Give this classic British recipe a little update. Great for all the family, vegetarian or not.
- 1 cauliflower, trimmed, broken into florets and rinsed.
- For the Bechamel Sauce
- Drizzle of Olive Oil
- 250g Mushrooms Chestnut and Closed Cup
- 150g Quorn Smokey Bacon style rashers or similar
- 25g Olive Spread or margarine
- 50g Plain Flour
- 250ml Skimmed Milk
- 55ml Half Fat Creme Fraiche
- 1 Tsp English Mustard Powder (Or to taste)
- 150g Strong Cheese grated (I use vegetarian Cheddar)
- Ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Sprinkle of Nutmeg (optional)
- For the topping
- 50g Bread Crumbs
- 50g Coloured Cheese grated such as vegetarian Red Leicester
- To Serve
- Slice up some crusty bread
- Trim the cauliflower and break into florets, rinse, put in a pan with cold water and a pinch or sea salt. Cover and bring to the boil and simmer for about 8 mins or until tender. Once cooked drain really well, then place into an oven proof dish.
- Slice the mushrooms thinly then in a frying pan put a drizzle of olive oil, once hot fry the mushrooms until they are soft and just beginning to brown. Once cooked tip out into a dish. Cut the Quorn Rashers into strips about 1cm wide then in the same pan you used for the mushrooms dry fry the rashers just until they begin to turn golden, you will need to move then around in the pan to colour them evenly. Once cooked leave them in the pan until needed later.
- Making the Bechamel Sauce. Melt 25g of olive spread or margarine in a saucepan over a gentle heat, then add 50g of plain flour. Stir this until they are mixed together and just begin to cook. Begin to add the milk while whisking with a balloon whisk this usually takes about 1 min. Once all the milk is added the mixture will look really lumpy but don't worry it is just a matter of stirring and stirring! I tend to pop it on and off the heat during this process just to make sure it does not burn. It usually takes about 15 mins of serious stirring to get a glossy lump free consistency. At this stage add the mustard powder and cheese and continue stirring, the mixture will be quite thick at this point. Once all the cheese has melted add the creme fraiche and stir some more! You can add salt and pepper to taste now. Add the mushrooms and Quorn rasher strips, mix well and it's ready to pour over the cauliflower in the oven proof dish. The sauce should be quite thick when put onto the cauliflower and cooked in the oven so that it will not become watery, because during cooking some moisture will be released from the cauliflower.
- To make the breadcrumbs just blitz up any bread you have at hand. For example crusty white or brown, I use some of the bread that I will serve with the meal to keep taste continuity. Add the coloured cheese and mix together then spoon onto the top of the cauliflower cheese.
- Bake in the centre of the oven at Gas Mark 4 for about 45 mins to 1 hour, if you notice the top getting too brown then turn the heat down a little and continue cooking to make sure it is piping hot in the centre. Once cooked place on warmed plates and serve with crusty bread.