cauliflower gratin

for dinner last night i tried a new recipe from Ina garten’s barefoot in Paris cookbook.  i adjusted the quantities for just the two of us, since the recipe is based on a whole head of cauliflower.  this recipe was excellent and i highly recommend it for a change of pace.  typically, i simply steam cauliflower in my stovetop steamer, but this recipe adds alot of flavor and would be nice to serve to guests.
here is my adaptation of her recipe:
1/2 head of fresh cauliflower florets cut from the stem
1 cup of grated white cheddar cheese
1 cup of skim milk
3 tablespoons margarine
1 1/4 tablespoons flour
Parmesan cheese
panko bread crumbs
salt, pepper to taste
remove the cauliflower from the stem.  grate the white cheddar cheese or substitute Gruyere as Ina suggests. place the cauliflower in boiling water and boil for about 3-4 minutes.  drain.  in a saucepot, melt the margarine, while stirring, add the flour and cook to thicken a minute or so.  slowly, while stirring, add the milk, to make the white sauce.  this is an important step.  stir constantly to make certain the sauce is creamy without lumps. cook until it begins to thicken and just before boiling, turn off the heat.  add about 1/2 the cheese to make the gratin sauce.  add salt and pepper to taste.
prepare a casserole dish with spray oil.  spoon a couple of large spoonfuls of the white sauce into the dish.  

add the cauliflower florets to the dish.  pour the white sauce over the cauliflower.  top with the remaining grated cheese and add grated Parmesan to taste, topping with a few panko breadcrumbs.  i also sprayed the top of the dish with some spray margarine to encourage browning.  Ina suggested added 1/2 stick of melted butter, but i substituted here to reduce the calories. bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for at least 30 minutes or until brown on the top.

this is a very tasty recipe and would encourage anyone to taste cauliflower.

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