One of my favourite cheeses for cooking is French Emmental as I love the toasty smell when it is grilled. My recipe this week is an easy and delicious baked cauliflower cheese with mushrooms. To make it slightly different from the usual, I cooked some large field mushrooms and lined the dish with these then added the cooked cauliflower and a creamy cheese and mushroom Béchamel sauce . I grated Emmental over the top and grilled it then added some crisp fried bacon pieces on top which gives a salty crunch to the dish. To pair with this dish I chose a Triennes Rosé from Provence as I needed a fairly delicate wine to pair with the cheese sauce and some depth as well, to match the mushrooms and grilled Emmental.
Ingredients for 4 guests:
- 1 large cauliflower head
- 1 punnet large field mushrooms
- 60g Flour
- 100g Butter
- 500ml Milk
- Sprigs of fresh parsley
- 200g Emmental
- 100g Bacon slices (Optional)
- Salt and pepper
A bottle of Triennes Rosé wine from Provence available at the French Market shop
- Preheat oven to 180C degrees
- Grate the Emmental cheese finely
- Check mushrooms are clean, remove the stalks of the mushrooms. trim off the dried ends.Leave caps whole and chop stalks finely.
- Wash and cut cauliflower into small florets
- Cook (or grill) the bacon strips in a frying pan until completely crisp. Remove from pan and chop into small pieces
- Place the mushroom caps upside down in a large baking pan. Cut 40g butter into small blocks and place in the mushroom caps and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until soft. Remove from the oven.
- Boil cauliflower in salted water (or steam) until tender about 12 minutes then strain off water.
- To make the bechamel sauce gently melt 60g butter in a heavy based saucepan.
- Add the chopped pieces of mushroom stalks and cook gently for a few minutes until soft.
- Add 60g flour and stir in briskly with a wooden spoon untill completely mixed with the melted butter, cook for a few minutes until lightly golden colour.
- Take pan off the heat and add all the milk at once, stir in well and return to the heat.
- Add pepper and salt to taste. Continue stirring the mixture over a medium heat until the sauce thickens.
- Add half of the grated cheese and stir in well. Cook for a few minutes stirring all the time until you have a thick creamy sauce with out lumps.
- Remove the cooked mushrooms caps from the baking pan and pour off excess cooking liquid.
- Turn on the grill of your oven.
- Line the base of a deep casserole dish with the mushroom caps upside down.
- Chop some fresh parsley over the mushrooms.
- Top with the cooked florets of cauliflower.
- Pour over the cheese and mushroom sauce so that all the cauliflower is covered.
- Sprinkle the rest of the grated Emmental across the top of the sauce. Bake under the grill until the Emmental is golden brown
- Remove from grill and sprinkle the chopped bacon over the top.
- Serve straight away while hot.
I recommend pairing this tasty dish with a glass of Triennes Rosé from Provence.
Click here for a pdf copyFrench Market Recipe 38 – Gratin de Choux-fleur aux Chempignons et de l’Emmental