in

Creamy Cauliflower Au Gratin

Creamy Cauliflower Au Gratin: A Decadent Twist on a Classic Dish

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Cauliflower au gratin is a delightful spin on the classic potato dish, offering all the creamy goodness with a lighter touch. This recipe combines tender cauliflower florets with a rich, cheesy sauce, topped with a buttery crumb topping for a dish that’s sure to impress. Let’s embark on a culinary journey to create this indulgent yet wholesome masterpiece.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 1/4 cups shredded white cheddar
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Crumb Topping:

  • 20 Ritz crackers
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Vegetables: Steam the broccoli and cauliflower florets until just tender, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Make the Cheese Sauce: In a large skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, cooking until softened and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes to create a roux.
  4. Add Liquid Ingredients: Gradually whisk in the milk and chicken broth, stirring until the mixture is smooth and thickened, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the shredded white cheddar cheese until melted and smooth. Season with a pinch of nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. Combine with Vegetables: Add the steamed broccoli and cauliflower to the cheese sauce, tossing gently to coat the vegetables evenly.
  6. Prepare the Crumb Topping: In a food processor, pulse the Ritz crackers until they form coarse crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and mix in the dried oregano, onion powder, and melted butter until well combined.
  7. Assemble and Bake: Transfer the cheesy cauliflower mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top.
  8. Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly.
  9. Serve: Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Bacon Bits: For added flavor, sprinkle cooked and crumbled bacon over the top before baking.
  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add other vegetables such as carrots, peas, or spinach to the cauliflower and broccoli mixture for extra color and nutrients.
  • Cheese Options: Experiment with different types of cheese such as gruyere, fontina, or gouda for unique flavor combinations.
  • Creamy Texture: For an even creamier sauce, add a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt to the cheese sauce mixture.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto: Substitute the all-purpose flour with almond flour or coconut flour to thicken the sauce and omit the Ritz crackers for the topping. Use crushed pork rinds mixed with Parmesan cheese for a crispy keto-friendly topping.
  • Low-Carb: Similar to the keto version, use low-carb flour alternatives and opt for a low-carb breadcrumb substitute for the topping. Crushed pork rinds or crushed almond flour crackers can work well in place of Ritz crackers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use frozen cauliflower and broccoli instead of fresh? A: Yes, you can use frozen cauliflower and broccoli florets if fresh is not available. Thaw them according to package instructions and drain any excess liquid before using in the recipe.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: Absolutely! You can assemble the cauliflower au gratin ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 24 hours before baking. Just add a few extra minutes to the baking time if baking straight from the refrigerator.

Q: Can I use a different type of cheese for the sauce? A: Certainly! While white cheddar adds a deliciously sharp flavor, you can use your favorite melting cheese such as mozzarella, provolone, or Swiss.

Q: How can I make this dish vegetarian? A: Simply substitute the low-sodium chicken broth with vegetable broth for a vegetarian-friendly version.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers? A: Yes, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven or microwave.

Cauliflower au gratin is a luxurious yet wholesome dish that elevates humble cauliflower to new heights. With its creamy cheese sauce, tender vegetables, and crunchy crumb topping, it’s a true crowd-pleaser for any occasion. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or customize it with keto, low-carb, or vegetarian variations, this dish offers endless possibilities for delicious dining experiences. Treat yourself and your loved ones to the comforting flavors of cauliflower au gratin and savor every bite of this delectable delight!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Slow Cooker Chicken & Mushroom Stroganoff

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken