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Delia's Gratin of eggs with cauliflower cheese
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1 medium cauliflower
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
Whole nutmeg for grating
For the sauce:
40g plain flour
75g grated Cheddar
40g grated Parmesan
6 x 6 minute hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved (link to hard boiled egg recipe)
For the brown pilau rice:
1 small onion finely chopped
1 dessertspoon oil
175ml measure brown basmati rice
350ml boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
To finish: Pre heat the grill to its highest setting
2 tablespoons grated Cheddar
1 heaped tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 heaped tablespoon coarse dry white breadcrumbs
For the rice, heat the dessertspoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat then add the chopped onion and cook it until golden and tinged brown at the edges.
For the cauliflower see our Video Technique here online.
Trim the large leaves from the cauliflower then using a sharp knife cut away the stalk and sit the cauliflower in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat. Pour over boiling water from the kettle so that it comes up to about 2.5cm deep. Add a bay leaf to the water then sprinkle the top of cauliflower with some salt and freshly grated nutmeg. Put a lid on and time it for 4–5 minutes until it is just cooked and still retains some bite.
Next add the rice to the cooked onion, pour over 175ml of boiling water and add the salt then give it one stir and put a tight fitting lid on and time it for 45 minutes.
Now for the cheese sauce put the milk, butter and flour into a small heavy gauged aluminum saucepan over a medium heat. Whisk all that together using a balloon whisk until it becomes a smooth glossy paste. Then turn the heat down as low as possible and cook it for 5 minutes. Then add some seasoning and stir in the grated Cheddar and Parmesan.
Now cut the florets from the cooked cauliflower and place them in a warmed serving dish. Tuck the halved hard boiled eggs in amongst the cauliflower then pour the cheese sauce all over the top covering the surface completely. Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs, cheeses and a little cayenne pepper then place it under the grill on a low shelf for about 5 minutes until the top is browned and the sauce bubbling.
Serve with the pilau rice.
This recipe was first published in August 2013.