Cauliflower Cheese is GOOD, but this Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese is NEXT LEVEL. Crispy, cheesy and creamy - plus in addition to being a bit bad for you, it's also a bit good for you too.
Coming up on the blog
I've been a little bit absent from the blog in the last couple of weeks, whilst I work on a few bits for my day job as well as plan for the future of The Accidental Chef. That required a little bit of brainpower, but we're good, we're making progress.
As I mentioned over on the Butternut Squash + Sweet Potato Soup recipe last week, autumn (or fall to some of you) is my favourite time of the year to cook. One of the reasons for that is that, for me, this time of the year is synonymous with having a huge Sunday lunch with friends and family. Maybe that's because I've spent the last decade working front of house in hospitality, and it's when Sunday's were fully booked over a week in advance.
Over the coming weeks, I'm going to share with you some of my favourite recipes for a roast dinner, which is my speciality and signature dish. I love cooking a roast more than any other meal. That starts today, with a controversial one perhaps. Does Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese belong on a traditional Sunday roast plate? The answer is yes, and anyone who tells you otherwise is dull and boring.
For this recipe you'll need:
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 head broccoli
- 200g mature cheddar
- 100g red Leicester
- 50g salted butter
- 50g plain (all-purpose) flour
- 600ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 teaspoon each of finely chopped rosemary + thyme
- 1 teaspoon English mustard powder
I love the flavours all these ingredients bring. For me, the rosemary and thyme tie this cauliflower & broccoli cheese into the traditional Sunday Roast Dinner, but if you lack one or the other they can be optional, RELUCTANTLY. I'd say the same for the mustard powder do, but it just brings the cheese sauce element together.
If you just have cheddar in the fridge, you can substitute out the Red Leicester for more cheddar. Extra cheddar has never made anything worse in the entire history of the world.
I actually have a couple of top tips for you this Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese recipe, spoiling you, aren't I?
Roasting your Vegetables
The first is to make sure you roast the cauliflower and broccoli in the oven whilst you're making your cheese sauce, instead of boiling them. It adds so much flavour to the dish (and save on the washing up, you're welcome). Part two of this tip - is making sure you roast the cauliflower leaves too, they're lovely and will go beautiful and crispy bringing texture to your finished dish. If you're a regular around here, you'll know this advice well from my Vegan Cauliflower Curry.
Making a Cheese Sauce
Tip two relates to the cheese sauce and is also actually two tips. The first is to make sure you fully incorporate the flour into the hot melted butter, when making your roux and allow it to cook out a bit. Otherwise, you'll end up with one lumpy cheese sauce. You want a smooth, velvety cheese sauce, not a lumpy one.
The second cheese sauce tip is to remove the pan from the heat once you've added the grated cheese, and just allow the cheese to melt away, stirring occasionally. If your requires a bit of extra heat, pop the pan back over medium heat and stirring continuously until the cheese has fully melted.
I used to fully hate making a cheese sauce. When I was doing Malt + Pepper (my pop-up venture), we used to make a Beer Cheese Sauce. I HATED doing it. I was so scared of making a roux, so I just used to dump EVERYTHING into a pan and whisk continuously from cold until there was a thick cheese sauce. It was a PROCESS. This way, with the roux, is so much easier. I'll 100% share my Beer Cheese Sauce with you soon - it's super delicious.
Cost per portion
I'm enjoying keeping a tab on the cost of everything. It's certainly made me think twice about what I buy, what we're eating and in what quantities I'm buying it. Since I adopted this approach for my blog, almost all the recipes have come in at under £1 per portion (based on the parts of ingredients used). I'm still not sure I'm the most effective at helping you eat well for less, but you'll certainly know if a recipe is in your budget from each post, so that's progress, right?
This Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese recipe serves six comfortably, as a side dish, and comes in at around 55p per portion when shopping at ASDA. The recipe could be even cheaper if you opted to switch out Red Leicester for extra cheddar.
I'm going to try not to get carried away here because we ate cauliflower cheese with a lot of stuff when I was growing up. I don't know if it's a thing in other families, but cauliflower & broccoli cheese is a STUNNING accompaniment with, wait for it, lasagne. It was a staple (alongside garlic bread) of our week growing up.
I'd highly recommend slapping a big old portion of this cheesy delight on your Sunday Roast. Cauliflower Cheese and crispy, fatty pork chops are also a favourite of mine.
The Ultimate Roast
As I mentioned up top, I'm working on the ultimate Sunday Roast and will be posting recipes for all of my favourite components, sauces and meats over the coming weeks. The start today is, of course, this Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese.
I'm mega excited because I honestly cannot tell you how much I LOVE the roast. Expect everything from braised red cabbage to the perfect honey-roasted carrots, through to nut roasts, Yorkshire puddings and the perfect homemade apple sauce for my fantastic roast pork.
Of course, there will be a couple of takes on roast potatoes too.
If you want to keep updated with "The Sunday Series" as I've decided to call it, pop your details in the subscription box below. I'm not a spammer, that's for sure.
Pin + Comment
If you're into saving recipes on Pinterest (and why wouldn't you be, it's so addictive) why not save this super handy pin I made you for this Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese recipe? I'm helpful, I know!
Did you give this recipe a go? Pop me a rating and comment in the boxes below! As always - you can chat with me via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, it's awesome seeing how you get on with these recipes. I'll see you next Tuesday for part 2 of the Sunday Series, right?
Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese
- 1 medium head Cauliflower
- 1 medium Broccoli
- 200 g Cheddar
- 100 g Red Leicester
- 50 g Salted Butter
- 50 g Plain Flour
- 600 ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh Thyme finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon English Mustard Powder
- Preheat oven to 180 Celcius
- Break broccoli and cauliflower into large florets, finely chop the cauliflower leaves and add them all to a large ovenproof dish. Drizzle over a little olive oil, season generously with salt + pepper and roast for 20 minutes.
- Place a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and melt. Heat until it just begins to bubble.
- Add the flour to the melted and combine using a whisk, allow to cook out for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the finely chopped rosemary and thyme, and cook for another minute.
- Gradually add the milk, whisking continuously, until you have a thick sauce. This will take between 10 ad 15 minutes. Stir in the mustard powder if using.
- Remove from the sauce from the heat and add ⅔ of each cheese, stir a briefly and let the cheese melt - 5 - 6 minutes*
- Tip the cheese sauce over the cauliflower & broccoli, top with the remaining cheese and a few cracks of black pepper, and return to the oven for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the top is golden, bubbling and crunchy.
- Serve immediately.