Goat Cheese Gratin
Warm and bubbly with a golden brown crust, this easy-to-prepare side dish is one of my favorite cold-weather indulgences. I am a big fan of cauliflower’s soft, slightly nutty flavor and don’t think it gets the attention it deserves. It has a remarkable ability to absorb the flavors of whatever it is being cooked with, such as the rich creamy sauce of smooth Monterey Jack, salty Parmesan, and tangy goat cheeses in this gratin.
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
3 cups whole milk, or more if needed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups)
6 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets, each floret cut into 2 or 3 pieces
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 10-inch baking dish.
2. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
3. Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium heavy saucepan. Whisk in the fl our and cook for
1 minute; do not let the mixture brown. Slowly whisk in the milk, raise the heat to high, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the Monterey Jack, half of the goat cheese, and half of the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. If the mixture seems too thick, thin with a little extra milk.
4. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl, add the cauliflower, and stir well to combine. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining goat cheese and Parmesan. Slip a rimmed baking sheet underneath and bake until the cauliflower is tender and the top is bubbly and golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish with chopped parsley.
Excerpted from Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson Copyright © 2011 by Boy Meets Grill, Inc. Photographs Copyright © 2011 by Ben Fink. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved.