Years ago, I shared my mom's recipe for turkey, cheese and broccoli casserole - a favorite recipe for leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
A main component of the dish is the cream sauce, a popular way, as my mom said, for her mom and relatives to stretch dishes and make them more filling. As I searched online this week for something new to do with the head of cauliflower sitting in my refrigerator, I found a recipe for cauliflower gratin. It looked delicious ... and then I realized that it's basically my mom's old turkey, cheese and broccoli casserole with just cauliflower.
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk (Ina Gartin recommends hot milk, but in my years of making this sauce, I've always made it with cold milk)
3/4 cup grated cheese (I like cheddar or Colby jack)
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the cauliflower in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes and drain.
Melt two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour and seasonings until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat to do this, otherwise it starts to thicken before you are ready. Add milk slowly. Cook and stir continually over moderate heat until boiling and cooked to the desired thickness. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the other shredded cheese.
In an 8 by 11 pan, pour about a 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place the cauliflower on top of the sauce. Then pour the rest of the sauce over the cauliflower. Mix the bread crumbs and remaining cheese together and spread across the top of the casserole. Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the top of the casserole.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
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