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No roast dinner is complete without a Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese bake. This is the easiest, cheesiest & most darn right delicious side dish you’ll ever make!

You guys, I think my love for cheese just gets out of control this time of year. It was only the other day I uploaded my Spicy Bacon Mac and Cheese and now this… I’m just working on my winter bod okay 😅 but seriously who can resist cheese when it looks this good!?

Cauliflower cheese was a staple in my house growing up, especially as a side dish for roast dinners and especially around the festive season.

If I’m honest back then it was the only way I’d eat cauliflower, but on reflection is there realistically anything you wouldn’t eat if an entire block of cheddar was melted on top?

So, what makes this the best cauliflower cheese recipe?

Well firstly there’s broccoli, and we all love broccoli. Even if only when smothered in melted cheese.

Secondly, and this is my absolute game-changing step, pre-roasting the broccoli and cauliflower.

Yup, no boiling, no steaming, just good old fashioned roasting.

Why roast the broccoli and cauliflower?

  • Flavour – Roasting the broccoli and cauliflower in garlic, olive oil and S+P gives so much flavour that boiling just can’t provide. Broccoli and cauliflower are the hero ingredients of this dish so to me it makes no sense to add them into the sauce unseasoned.
  • Texture – When you boil or steam the broccoli and cauliflower it holds on to a lot of water (especially in the broccoli) and it’s released when you bake in the oven. And we all know cheese + water = a hot mess. When you roast them you also get a nice crispy crunchy texture which beats sloppy veg any day!

How to make broccoli and cauliflower cheese

  1. Roast the broccoli and cauliflower in a baking dish until lightly charred and fork tender.
  2. Meanwhile melt butter into a suitably sized pan.
  3. Stir in flour then gradually pour in milk.
  4. Add cheese, nutmeg and seasoning.
  5. Add in your roasted broccoli and cauliflower.

Add then it’s just a case of popping it back in the dish and pouring over enough cheese to last a lifetime.

Oven time!

Alrighty, by this point your house is going to smell insanely gorgeous.

Once it’s out the oven I like to firstly shed a tear because I love cheese so much, then let it sit for 5 mins (and consequently shed a few more tears). This will let it firm up a little and possibly save you burning your mouth into oblivion). Then grab some fresh chives and sprinkle those bad boys over.

My mouth is watering all over again.

Hey, whilst you’re here check out my other festive recipes!

How to make Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese (Full Recipe & Video)

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<div class= - How to cook Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese
  • 200g / 7oz Broccoli florets
  • 200g / 7oz Cauliflower florets
  • 500ml / 2 cups Milk, at room temp
  • 1.5 cups / 150g Cheddar, grated (save 1/3 for topping)
  • 1 cup / 100g Gruyere, grated
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Garlic, minced
  • few pinches of Nutmeg
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Chives, to garnish
  • Pop your broccoli, cauliflower and garlic in a roasting dish with a good pinch of salt & pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven at 200c/390f for 15-20mins or until lightly charred and fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, melt your butter into a suitable sized pan and stir in your flour to form a paste. Gradually pour in your milk, continually whisking to avoid lumps forming.
  • Stir in your mustard gruyere and 2/3 of your cheddar. Test for seasoning then add in your broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Pop back into the roasting dish, sprinkle over the rest of your cheddar and pop back in the oven for 20mins or until golden and bubbly. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives.

a) Calories – Based on using 1 tbsp olive oil and shared between 6 people.

Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.24g (3%) | Protein: 17.09g (34%) | Fat: 22.18g (34%) | Saturated Fat: 11.88g (59%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.194g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7.108g | Trans Fat: 0.404g | Cholesterol: 60mg (20%) | Sodium: 420mg (18%) | Potassium: 327mg (9%) | Fiber: 1.8g (7%) | Sugar: 5.06g | Vitamin A: 67% | Vitamin C: 31% | Calcium: 52% | Iron: 7%

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The Crisper Whisperer: How to Glaze Root Vegetables Recipe

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the crisper whisperer how to glaze root vegetables recipe 5d12fb7b17930 - The Crisper Whisperer: How to Glaze Root Vegetables Recipe

One of the first lessons you learn in culinary school is the unyielding power of mispronounced French words. Culinary French don’t sound purdy, but it can inspire a vast range of emotion, from dread to desire, among the clog-wearing set.

Few words wield more fury than the unassuming-sounding tournage, the name for the meticulous cutting of vegetables out of hand into small, seven-faced footballs, often for hours at a stretch. If the ability to tourne carrots, turnips, and potatoes is not particularly relevant for the vast majority of professional chefs these days, schools don’t see that as reason to cancel the plumage-fest that its teaching inevitably becomes.

You might not think this topic bears heavily on the home cook, but it does. Because of tournage, home cooks have been robbed blind of one of the simplest and most delicious methods of cooking winter’s abundance of root vegetables. The classic French practice of glazing is quick and rewarding and produces a surprisingly elegant result (which bears little resemblance to the cloying dishes sometimes called glazed vegetables in the United States).

More Whispers

For whatever reasons to do with peacocks and machismo and what have you, the perfectly proper way to glaze root vegetables requires that you tourne them first. But chopping them into bite-sized pieces gets you 99 percent of the way to perfection with maybe one percent of the effort. I’m no Good Will Hunting, but that looks like 100 to me.

French glazed vegetables are cooked in a shallow bath of water fortified with small amounts of butter and sugar. One of the few tricks to glazing (and it’s a trick home cooks should learn anyway, since it’s widely applicable and cheap as hell) is to cover the cooking vegetables with a cartouche, a circle of parchment paper with a hole cut out of the middle. This method makes the cooking liquid evaporate slowly, giving the vegetables time to cook through gently and leaving you with just the right amount of glaze. Unlike tournage, cartouche is the kind of poorly pronounced culinary French that you’ll want to keep in your vocabulary.

This week I’ve glazed carrots because that’s what we had in our crisper, but this method works beautifully with just about all root vegetables, from turnips to parsnips to beets to pearl onions. If you’re combining vegetables into one dish, classic technique would have you cook each separately to ensure perfect tenderness, but if you cut them all about the same size, it’s perfectly reasonable (I’d say a lot more so, in fact) to cook them all together. Just be sure not to crowd the pan beyond a single layer, or the veggies won’t brown properly.

Ingredients

    • 5 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (or other root vegetables, to yield about 2 cups)
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and/or chives, for garnish

Directions

  1. 1.

    Prepare a cartouche by cutting a circle of parchment the size of your sauté pan with a circular hole in the center. This is a good tutorial, except that you should snip off the pointy end of the triangle to make a hole in the center for steam to escape. (If this sounds like poorly pronounced French to you right now, it will make more sense after watching the short video.)

  2. 2.

    Melt the butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed sauté pan (preferably not non-stick) over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and toss to coat with butter. Sprinkle with the sugar and some salt and pepper. Pour in water to go about halfway up the carrots, not more than 1/2 cup. Cover with the cartouche and adjust the heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots are just tender on the outside and still a bit too firm in the center.

  3. 3.

    Remove the cartouche, return the heat to medium-high, and cook the carrots uncovered, shaking the pan occasionally, until they brown in spots and the liquid is reduced to just enough glaze to coat the carrots, about 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives (or other herbs of your choice) and serve.

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Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Sautéed with Crisp Garlic Recipe

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images - Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Sautéed with Crisp Garlic Recipe

Gordon Ramsay’s In the Heat of the Kitchen has been fun to look through, but I haven’t really been able to put it to much use. Most of the recipes seem rather complex for a hectic weekday night. So I was a little surprised to find this quick little broccoli recipe stuck between “Caramelized baby onions with beet jus” and “corn fritters with lime crème fraîche.” With only eight ingredients, seven of which I had already, this proved to be a perfectly practical side.

While the crisp garlic is fun and those onions sure do add a lot of sweetness, what really separates this dish from a standard accompaniment is the oyster sauce. It somehow binds all the ingredients and transforms this into an interesting side dish worth paying attention to. It’s such a simple addition, too. This, of course, all depends on whether you have oyster sauce just hanging around the fridge ready to go in to random dishes. I do. Its cost is so small, and it keeps surprising me with dishes like this one.

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, thick stems removed, and cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. 1.

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Also, get a large bowl of ice water ready. When the water is boiling, dump the broccoli in and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain the broccoli and transfer to the ice water. When cooled, dry the broccoli in a towel.

  2. 2.

    Pour the oil into a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic slivers and saute until golden brown. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

  3. 3.

    Toss the onions into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the broccoli and cook until hot, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, pour in the oyster sauce, and sprinkle the garlic slivers atop. Season with salt and serve.

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James Peterson’s Pickled Chiles

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james petersons pickled chiles 5d12fd2a3552a - James Peterson's Pickled Chiles

Pickled chiles are a versatile pantry staple. They can be used to add mouth-puckering tang to just about any place you’d ordinarily use hot peppers, they keep for weeks at a time, and they take all of five minutes to prepare.

While it is easy to throw just about anything into a hot pickle brine, James Peterson keeps his pickled chiles simple in Vegetables.

Encouraging readers to experiment with chile varieties (he recommends both hot jalapenos and mild poblanos), he provides a barebones description of the technique as well as a slightly more elaborate recipe. Still, even in the recipe, he adds only onion, garlic, and thyme to the chiles and covers them with brine made of nothing but boiling white wine vinegar and salt.

Ingredients

  • about 1 pound assorted large fresh chiles, such as poblano, Anaheim, or New Mexico, or 1 1/4 pounds small fresh chiles, such as jalapenos
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme or marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 cups white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

Directions

  1. 1.

    Rinse off the chiles and remove their stems. Cut large chiles in half lengthwise and, wearing rubber gloves, pull out their seeds. Leave small chiles whole. Fill a 1-quart mason jar with the chiles, distributing the onion, garlic, thyme, and salt evenly among the layers or chiles. Bring the vinegar to a boil and immediately pour it over the chiles. Be sure the chiles are completely covered with the hot vinegar. Immediately twist on the cap and let cool without opening. Refrigerate the chiles and serve within several weeks.

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