Thursday, September 24, 2015

cauliflower cheese hash brown casserole

About a week ago, we had a lovely sunny day, with just a bit of fall in the breeze and I had a few quiet moments to myself so I curled up on my newish outdoor loveseat under a blanket and read a bit of Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries.

I was reading January, February - all about cold, grey, bitter weather and lovely things to cook then. I adore his roasted onion soup and I began to get quite hungry under my blanket out in the sunshine. I did have a strong hankering for mashed potato when I put my book down.

I had a cauliflower hanging out in my veggie drawer for a bit and so I decided to do cauliflower cheese hash brown casserole. As I had a pile of chard from the garden as well,

 I threw that into the mix for a bit of green. To balance out the greens, I added bacon. Actually it was the other way around, I added bacon, because..well, bacon. And then added the greens.

Cauliflower Cheese Hash Brown Casserole
1 head of cauliflower florets, roasted
2 large shallots, sliced
4 rashers thick cut bacon, sliced
1 big pile of chard, cut into ribbons
4 tbsp flour
560 mL milk (or broth and milk combined)
salt and pepper
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 small package of frozen diced hash brown potatoes
1 1/2 c grated cheddar or other hard cheese (I used a combination of old cheddar and goat)

Preheat your oven to 375 deg F. Add the cauliflower florets to a baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes until slightly browned at the edges.

Add the shallots and bacon to a dutch oven over medium heat and cook until the bacon is mostly cooked and the shallots are tender.

Add the chard and saute for a couple of minutes until the chard is wilted. Remove the vegetable mixture from the pan, leaving the bacon fat behind. Add the flour and milk to the pan, stirring until thickened. Season with salt and pepper and the dijon mustard. Add back the vegetable mixture, add in the roasted cauliflower and mix well. Add in the hash brown potatoes and the cheese and mix to blend.

 Bake for 30 minutes at 350 deg F until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges of the dish are browing. Serve warm.

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