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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cauliflower - Bacon Gratin (French Fridays with Dorie)


I'm not hugely crazy about cooked cauliflower, although raw cauliflower is my first pick from a plate of crudités. It has a nasty smell while cooking, reminiscent of a bad boarding-house kitchen (if the cook at the bad boarding house was into cauliflower). So, while this cauliflower dish was a good one, I'll admit that my favorite parts were the bacon and cheese. But you really can't have a bacon gratin, can you? There has to be something in there besides bacon, cream, and cheese.


Jim liked watching the cauliflower boil because it turned somersaults.


I bought the makings for this dish without double-checking the recipe. I knew that it called for Gruyere cheese, but somehow, in my feeble brain, that translated to Fontina, and that's what I bought. Although Fontina is definitely not a classic French cheese, it worked quite well.


The sauce, which turned out to be lovely, not only had cream and full-fat milk, but it also had five eggs, which were beaten, one at a time, into the flour. Not surprisingly, the eggs made the sauce custardy, rather than white saucy.


The cauliflower was decent, the sauce was delicious, but it was the bacon that made this dish.


Into the oven it goes,


and out it comes, just 25 minutes later.


We had this as a main course at our house, with just a green salad, so it was an easy weekday dinner. I would probably add a little thyme if I made it again, but it doesn't really need it. I'd also cut the cauliflower pieces a little smaller. All in all, though, I was pretty satisfied with it just the way it was. Although Dorie says it doesn't keep very well, I had it for lunch today, and, although I had to apologize to the people at work for the odiferous cauliflower, it still tasted fine.

19 comments:

  1. Bacon gratin. There has to be a way to make that happen :-)
    The aroma of cauliflower cooking isn't one of those warm fuzzy smells, is it? Good thing the end result makes up for it.

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  2. This was a main dish for us too. Try roasted cauliflower; we love it!

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  3. It was a main dish for me too ! It is delish and I love it too :) The next one I shall try it with curry and sauteed onions added to it. Happy New Year and many more Happy FFWD !

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  4. I have to agree that it held up for us as well. With just two in the house we ended up eating the leftovers for several days and thought it still tasted fine. I also agree that it was better as a main dish than as a side. A bit too heavy for a side.

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  5. I agree that this was still tasty for several days. I also agree that the best bites were those that included cauliflower, cheese and BACON!

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  6. Your gratin is such a pretty golden color. I'm going to try my leftovers for lunch today, I think just a small amount with a salad sounds good. I agree with Lola that roasted cauliflower is my favorite, maybe with some crumbled bacon on top.

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  7. Nicely done! We liked this, too!

    Have a fabulous New Year!

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  8. Your gratin looks terrific! I'm glad you enjoyed it and found some delight in your not-so-favrite vegetable. I thought it was a nice foil for the yummy cheese and bacon. I bet the fontina was good too.

    Happy New Year!!!

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  9. Your photos (and your gratin :)look delicious ! We love this in our house and all the more for this time of year. It is funny because I prefe the cooked cauliflower and avoid the raw...but again with bacon and cheese no one is complaining about these results. Happy New Year !

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  10. LOL - cooking cauliflower does smell rather like bad boarding house fare. I am glad you liked this anyway - I thought it was delicious, and like you, I had it over several days and it tasted good each time.

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  11. I found this held up for a few days too. Fontina is such a good melting cheese that I'll bet that was a terrific variation. I actually prefer cauliflower thoroughly cooked over raw, but probably in gratin better than alone. Have a happy new year!

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  12. Fantastic photos! I bet the Fontina was great with this. I thought this was very good, and had suggested it could be a meal also to my spouse, but he differed in opinion and only thought it as a side dish. I also thought it made great left overs.

    Happy New Year and lookign forward to cooking with you next year!

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  13. I am all up in there with you deciding to just have this as the main course. I would take it a step further and push everyone aside so I could just take a fork to that whole dish full of it. Yum!

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  14. I love your photos. Your cheesy crust on the gratin looks so delicious. It reminds me of mac 'n cheese. The best best is the browned cheese on top! I hope you have a Happy New Year!

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  15. Your cheesy gratin turned out fantastic! Happy New Year!

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  16. I enjoyed the leftovers of this too, I thought it held up well. I love your photos. The browned cheese does look great!

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  17. Wasn't this wonderful? Bobby Flay's cauliflower gratin is so different from Dorie's, just a totally different taste. I've now tried both and find Dorie's far easier to make. I would roast the cauliflower rather than boil it, however. Anxious to try that. Happy New Year and I look forward to more cooking together in 2012.

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  18. You're shopping mistake was a good one! I used Gruyere and thought it was very bland - I wish I'd accidentally bought Fontina!

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  19. Happy new year to you. I think other cheeses go very well with this dish. We've had it as a side dish and it's a lot for a side dish.

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