I got this idea from watching Chef Pepin’s show on Create TV. He makes a lovely Cauliflower Gratin. I took a more devilish approach that I hope you will enjoy as much.
1 Batch of Voodoo Roux:
3/4 cup of Sweet Salted Butter (1.5 sticks)
3/4 cup nasty while bleached flour
~ 2 Tbs of Key Lime Juice (let your Key West soul tell you when)
~ 1/2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper (let your Key West soul tell you when)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 firm white cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese
1 Serrano pepper, cleaned of seeds and finely diced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove the green leaves from the cauliflower, cut out the core, and separate cauliflower into florets. Chef Pepin recommends chopping the inner stems and cooking with florets
- Drop the florets into a large stainless steel saucepan of boiling salted water, bring back to a boil, and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.
- Drain and set aside.
- Build the Voodoo Roux – melt butter, toast flour until golden add cayenne, add half and half slowly whisking constantly, if the sauce gets too thick ..add water until it gets to the right consistency for you. When you get it right, add Key Lime and salt and pepper to taste.
- Generously butter a gratin casserole. Arrange the Cauliflower with pieces on the bottom, florets on the top. Depending on the dish and the size of cauliflower you might have to make layers. Sprinkle half the cheese and peppers over the cauliflower. Spoon sauce over the cauliflower. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and peppers over the sauce.. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.