I know you're going to think we eat a lot of spicy food and of course you'd be right but the peppers and chiles are so abundantly beautiful right now, we just need to take advantage of them. I was inspired to make this Bobby Flay recipe for a kicked up cauliflower gratin, but of course had to change it up a notch or two. I don't know about you, but other than when I'm baking I rarely follow a recipe a hundred percent.
I steamed cauliflower florets while cutting a beautiful Walla Walla sweet onion into wedges without cutting all the way through the core, and steamed the onion when the cauliflower was done. With both arranged in a gratin dish, then the fun began.
A basic white sauce gets kicked into gear with the addition of roasted, peeled and chopped poblano peppers along with a can of chopped green chiles. Seasoned with salt and pepper, I added a good handful of white cheddar and jalapeno pepperjack cheese, then poured the sauce over the vegetables.
Topped with grated parmesan and a sprinkle of panko crumbs, it hit the oven for 35 minutes and was removed bubbling with hints of golden color and an incredible aroma. As for the flavor - smokey hints of mild poblano mixed with smooth notes of green chile with just a hint of jalapeno from the pepperjack cheese - it was an absolute symphony. I cannot imagine how incredible the sauce would be made into macaroni cheese, but believe me, I'll be giving that a try once we're off this "moderation" stuff. It would be darn near impossible to practice moderation with a bowl of that kind of comfort, don't ya' think?
By the way, Big Guy's ready to share his recipes for rotisserie BBQ chicken, done 2 ways so I'll be telling you about that later in the week, but I have to wet your whistle and brag that the birds went beautifully with the cauliflower gratin, as would darn near anything off your barbecue right now, so be sure to give it a try. I think you'll be amazed!
Cauliflower Onion Gratin with Green Chile (from JBug’s Kitchen adapted from Bobby Flay, Foodnetwork.com)
1 large head of cauliflower
1 large sweet onion (I used Walla Walla)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2-1/2 cups whole milk
Salt & coarse ground black pepper
2 large poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 – 6 ounce can chopped green chiles
1 cup grated jalapeno pepper jack cheese
1 cup grated white sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons panko crumbs
Preheat oven to 400 F. Break cauliflower into large florets and steam over boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove from steamer basket and place into greased gratin dish. Peel onion, leaving it whole, then cut into 8 wedges without cutting all the way through the core. Steam for 5 minutes and arrange in gratin dish with the cauliflower.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan and stir in flour. Cook, whisking until roux becomes slightly golden in color – about 4 minutes. Whisk in milk and cook, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and add chopped poblano peppers, green chile, pepperjack and cheddar cheeses and stir until cheese has melted. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as required. Pour over vegetables in gratin dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and panko crumbs.
Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until vegetables are softened and mixture is bubbling and starting to brown on top. Allow to rest for 10 minutes after removing it from the oven. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
A year ago - Chili Dog Perfection
Two year's ago - Mediterranean Style Stuffed Peppers