Side dish

Cauliflower Poblano Gratin


Have you ever bought a “sick” present for one of your kids?

When my kids were wee little munskins and they got sick, whether it was chicken pox, a cold, ear ache or recovering from stitches (dad was almost always in charge when those accidents happened), they got sick presents. I love sick presents myself. I even use to buy myself “moving presents”. In 46 years of marriage we have only moved 5 times and each time I bought a few gifts for the new house, wrapped them up and they were packed by our movers to be opened when we arrived at our new home.
This cauliflower gratin was a “sick” present for a friend who had foot surgery. Ribs and Stephanie’s Magic Beans along with the cauliflower gratin I’m sure helped her get back on her feet. I had to do whatever I could to get my “movie buddy” back up and moving.

I got the idea for this recipe from my son, Paul. He made this one night when we were in Austin. I feel guilty tweaking one of his recipes because he is by far better in the kitchen than I am. The only change I  made was to add the mushrooms and roast the vegetables before putting dish together. So if you don’t want to do that extra step, just put everything in the casserole raw (and you can leave out the mushrooms), it will just take a little longer in the oven.
Put the cauliflower florets and the split and seeded poblano pepper on rimmed cookie sheet.
After the cauliflower browns just a bit, add in the mushrooms.
Put your cooked (or raw) vegetables into casserole dish.
Make your cheese sauce, reserving one cup of the cheese to go on top of the casserole.
Pour the cheese sauce over the vegetables, top with remaining cup of cheese and bake until nice and brown.
Cauliflower Poblano Gratin
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  1. 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  2. 1 large poblano pepper, cut in half and seeded
  3. 8 oz. carton mushrooms, halved if large
  4. 2 Tbsp. butter
  5. 2 Tbsp. flour (or gluten free flour blend)
  6. 2 c. milk (half and half can be substituted)
  7. 3 c. gruyere (or Swiss) cheese (or your favorite)
  8. 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  1. Put the cauliflower on a rimmed cookie sheet with the poblano and roast at 400° until they just start to get a few brown tips. Add the mushrooms and bake another 5-6 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven and chop the poblano peppers into about 3/4" pieces. Put in the casserole dish.
  3. To make the sauce heat the butter in sauce pan until melted. Add the garlic and flour (or flour blend) and stir for 3-4 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Add in 2 cups of the cheese and cook just until melted.
  4. Pour the cheese sauce over the vegetables and top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  5. Bake in 350° oven until top is nice and browned. If you put vegetables in raw then it will probably take 45 minutes to one hour for the vegetables to get done. Just test cauliflower with fork until they are tender if you have not pre-roasted the vegetables.
  1. If you do not want to roast the vegetables then you can put everything in raw. It will just take longer. Also, I knew that the mushrooms would release a lot of liquid so if you don't roast I would suggest at lease sautéing the mushrooms enough that you get the water out of them.
Adapted from son, Paul
Adapted from son, Paul
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