frugal cooking

Cauli-roni Cheese

There are so many variations to Cauliflower cheese, but the recipe is also almost the same as Macaroni Cheese.  Make with Macaroni when the Cauliflower is not in season or just for a change why not match and mix the two to make a Cauli-roni Cheese.

Ingredients

Sauce*
50g Butter or margarine
50g Plain Flour
175g grated cheese
750ml Milk
Seasoning
Optional extras
Bay leaf
Grated nutmeg, Cayenne Pepper or 1tsp of English Mustard powder
Single or double cream as a substiute for part of the milk 

Filling
250g Macaroni or One large Cauliflower or a mixture of the two

Optional extras
Small tin of sweetcorn
125g cooked cubed Ham 
A couple of tablespoons of fried Bacon Lardons or Panchetta or 8 rashers of cooked streaky bacon
A tablespoon of freshly snipped chives

Two tablespoons of breadcrumbs and 50g of Parmesan or cheddar cheese to sprinkle to provide a 'gratin' topping.
One bag of ready salted or cheese and onion crisps, smashed up and sprinkled on top to provide a crunchy topping.

Method

Cook the Macaroni as per packet instructions but for two minutes less.  If using cauliflower, break the head in to florets and cook for five minutes nor so in boiling water, until just tender.  Plunge in to cold water to stop it cooking.
Don't throw the Cauliflower stalk away, but convert it in to a soup, it tastes just as lovely as the flourets

Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the flour and cook for a few moments before slowly adding the milk to make a basic white sauce.
Add a Bayleaf (if using) Bring to the boil and simmer for a few moments to thicken up.  Add Seasoning and the spice of your choice (if using).

With Cauliflower cheese, put the Cauliflower in a greased banking dish. Add any optional ingredients to the dish and pour over the sauce.
With the Macaroni cheese, put all the additional ingredients, and the Macaroni in to the pan with the sauce and stir through until thoroughly mixed.  Pour in to a greased baking dish.

Put topping on the finished dish, if using.

Bake either dish in a preheated oven (200C) for about twenty minutes.

Serves 3-4 as a main (comes in at less than 50p a head, depending on the ingredients used) or 5-6 persons as a side dish

Also Try

Leek and Macaroni Gratin

Add 25g Leeks cleaned trimmed and chopeed lightly fried in butter for 2 minutes.  
Finish with 25g fresh breadcrumbs mixed with 2tbsp chopped fresh chives and grated cheese.

Brussel and Peanut Gratin

Cook 700g brussel sprouts (trimmed) in Salted water until tender.  Roughly chop 2/3rd.  Stir chopped sprouts in to the Macaroni and Cheese sauce.  Top with 75g salted peanuts (rougly chopped) and remaining sprouts (halved) arrange over dish and top with grated cheese.

 

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