What You Will Need to Make Cauliflower Cheese
Making Cauliflower Cheese at home in 2023 isn’t hard, and it starts with having all the right ingredients on-hand. To do that, you’ll need the following:
- One large head of cauliflower, washed, trimmed, and chopped into florets
- Four tablespoons of butter
- Two tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of milk (preferably whole)
- One teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of paprika
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
Once these items are ready, you can start making your delicious cauliflower cheese. All you need to do is follow the steps outlined below, and you can enjoy this comforting classic in less than an hour. Best For Vegetable Lovers.
Step 1: Preparing the Vegetables
Making cauliflower cheese at home starts with prepping the vegetables. Start by washing and cutting your cauliflower into florets. Then, you’ll need to cook them until tender—boiling in a pan, microwaving, or roasting in the oven are the three main methods.
To prepare for boiling, fill a large pan with water and bring it to a boil. If you’re microwaving, place your florets in a microwave-safe bowl and cover them with cling film or a lid. And if you’re roasting, spread your florets on an oven tray lined with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil.
When the vegetables are cooked through, take them off the heat (or out of the oven). Drain their liquid if any remains and keep it aside—you may need it later!
Step 2: Making the Cheese Sauce
Making the cheese sauce is the key to getting creamy, delicious Cauliflower Cheese. Depending on your taste, you can add any cheese you like — Swiss, cheddar, mozzarella — whatever you fancy will work.
To make your cheese sauce, here’s what you need to do:
- Put a saucepan on medium heat and melt two tablespoons of butter.
- As it melts and starts bubbling, sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of flour and stir.
- Take it off the heat for a couple of minutes, then add about 1 ½ cups (355ml) of milk and stir until combined.
- Put the pan back on medium heat until it thickens to a smooth consistency (about 2 minutes).
- Add salt and pepper for seasoning – about ¼ teaspoon each should be enough – then start adding the cheese in batches, stirring each time until the cheese is combined before adding the next one.
- Once all the cheese has been added and melted into a creamy consistency, turn off the heat but leave the sauce in the pan while you prepare your cauliflower florets for baking.
Step 3: Assembling the Dish
Ready to get started with making your cauliflower cheese in 2023? Here’s what you need to know when assembling the dish:
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Next, layer the cauliflower florets in the baking dish, pour the cheese sauce over the top, and sprinkle on the optional breadcrumbs or cheese.
Bake your cauliflower cheese for 20 minutes until it’s golden brown and bubbly. Then let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Letting it sit is essential because if you don’t, the cheese sauce will be runny and not as creamy as it should be.
Cauliflower cheese pairs nicely with roasted chicken or grilled steak. Adding a side of steamed veggies is always a great idea to make it healthier! And if you’re looking for a vegetarian option, this easy side dish goes great with quinoa or black beans.
Step 4: Baking the Cauliflower Cheese
The fifth step in creating this delicious dish is baking the cauliflower cheese. To do this, preheat your oven to 375°F and lightly grease a medium-sized baking dish. Then, put the cauliflower in the container and spread it into an even layer.
Next, create a topping for the cauliflower. This can be done by combining ½ cup of grated Cheddar cheese, ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup of soft breadcrumbs, and two tablespoons of butter with a few dashes of garlic powder and paprika. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the cauliflower in an even layer and bake it for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
When finished, warmly serve your homemade cauliflower cheese with your favorite side dishes, such as mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables. Enjoy!
Tips for Recreating Restaurant Quality Cauliflower Cheese
Sure, you can make cauliflower cheese at home in 2023, but do you know how to make it restaurant-quality? Here are some great tips to ensure your dish is truly top-notch:
Use high-quality ingredients:
The quality of your ingredients will significantly impact how your dish turns out. Make sure you’re using only the freshest and highest-quality cheeses and vegetables.
Make sure to cook the cauliflower:
To get restaurant-quality cauliflower cheese, cooking the florets quickly is essential. To get that perfect texture, simmer the cauliflower until it’s nearly done but still firm to the bite—you don’t want it too soft or mushy.
Make sure to skimp on the cheese sauce:
The cheese sauce in a good cauliflower cheese is rich and creamy—this isn’t one of those dishes where you can skimp on a pinch of butter or a sprinkle of parmesan. The sauce should be thick enough to coat all of the vegetables but still able to be scooped up with a spoon.
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