This is my new spin on cauliflower cheese.So, cauliflower “steaks.”Essentially, we’re talking about cross-sections of cauliflower, seasoned and roasted until tender and succulent.I mean, I sort of think “steak” is a bit far fetched, but I’m fully on board with the method ( and totally not on board with supermarkets climbing aboard the vegan bandwagon and charging a hefty price for pre-sliced cauliflower when you can buy and prepare it yourself for half the price).
A meat-free steak alternative? Possibly, but wrapped in plastic and overpackaged? Many people have expressed concern that retailers have evidently missed the mark by overcharging for a product that is sheer exploitation and shows little if no thought for the environment.
Anyway so,rant aside, a fresh cauliflower locally grown and purchased on the same day it was cut – just brush with oil, season with salt and pepper, grill or sautee,then oven roasted with a cauliflower cheese topping, a slice of ham and finally topped with a poached egg.Comfort food at its best.Who could sing for anything better than Little Tommy Tucker
Cauliflower "steak" with cauliflower cheese sauce poached egg and ham
1 medium-size head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
Flor de sal and freshly ground pepper
black pepper to taste
dessert spoon Dijon mustard
60g good quality melting cheese cheddar or provolone,grated
300ml mix of half reserved cauliflower stock and half milk
2 slices ham
Preheat your oven to medium, about 180-200 degrees C.
Peel the leaves off of the head of cauliflower and cut the stem off of the bottom. Sit the head upright on the flat cut bottom and, with a sharp chef’s knife, cut into two 1-inch thick slices. Generally, you can only get 2 good steaks out of one head of cauliflower, the slices from the middle. Reserve the two middle slices and save the outer sections for later use. Brush both sides of the cauliflower slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.Sear the cauliflower slices in a cast iron griddle pan until golden brown on both sides and fork-tender in the middle,4-5 minutes.Flip over and repeat on the other side.Remove the cauliflower slices to a baking dish and lay a slice of ham across the top of each slice.Set aside.Put the reserved outer sections in a processor and blitz until you have a coarse grain like cous cous.Add the cauliflower grains to enough boiling water to cover them(approx 0.5 litres).Boil for a couple of minutes until softened but still retaining their texture.Drain the cauliflower saving 150ml of the cooking water and add that to 150ml of milk.
With the flour, butter, milk and stock, make a bechamel and add the mustard and cheese as if you were making a cauliflower cheese.When the sauce thickens add the cauliflower grains and remove from the heat.Spoon the cauliflower cheese sauce over the ham and top with some extra grated cheese.Place the baking dish with the cauliflower in a hot oven 220C for about 15-20 minutes,finishing under the grill to achieve a nice crusty brown top.Keep the cauliflower warm while you poach the eggs.Transfer each cauliflower steak to a plate and top each portion with a poached egg.