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Archive for the ‘broccoli’ Category

Cauliflower Cheese

Sometimes I like to serve something healthy and nearly vegetarian. 
Totally vegetarian dishes in a house full of growing athletic boys creates a feeling of  scarcity and hard done by.
I find bacon lardons or pancetta a fabulous addition to many dishes which otherwise could be vegetarian.  If you do not eat meat please leave out.
My husband and I had served cauliflower cheese as a side dish at our wedding because we both really like it and we had both chosen it on our first meal date.  Seventeen years later and he still loves my version of this simple dish adapted to allow it to be the star of the show. 
Bacon lardons / pancetta
Cauliflower /Broccoli  broken into spears
Spinach – I had a bag of baby spinach leaves in the fridge.
Tomatoes – I used small Vine cherry tomatoes and sliced them
Butter  / Milk  /  Flour
Mature tasting cheese – I used cheddar – grated
Bread – 2 slices  crumbed – a good use of crusts if you have some that will not be used
Firstly fry your bacon lardons using a tiny bit of butter if required until crispy.
Add butter, milk, flour and half the cheese to make a cheese sauce with the bacon in it.
Meanwhile  boil some water and put cauliflower in for a few minutes until just beginning to  soften.  Remove, leave to drain then add the broccoli spears to the water for a couple of minutes only.   Both these vegetables need some crunch left in them.  
Lay the spinach in the bottom or the dish.
Add cauliflower and broccoli to the dish and cover with the cheese sauce.
Top the dish with the sliced tomatoes.
I crumb my bread slices and then add the grated cheese to the mixed crumbs – this mixes them really well together.  Sprinkle liberally over the tomatoes.
Cook on high in the oven till the cheese sauce is bubbling and the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown. 
Serve with fresh crusty bread or in this instant I served garlic bread. 
It goes down a treat and if in the unlikely event there is any left over makes a great lunch dish the following day.
Everyone will have their own method of making this dish from pre-cooking the vegetables to how to create the perfect cheese sauce.  How do you serve yours?   As a main dish or as a side, do you add broccoli or spinach or do you keep it true to the name?   We think the garlic bread compliments the meal really well but what would you like to serve with alongside the dish?
If you enjoyed this meal, check out my mumerings and comments on life by reading Tiggy Hayes.

Wigmore Chicken

This was given to me many years ago by the wonderful Diana Wigmore. It has maybe adapted from the original recipe she gave me but it remains a firm family favourite.   

A great dish to use up left over roast chicken and of course turkey could easily be interchanged here.  A fun topping  makes the boys think they are eating something naughty.


Left over roasted chicken
Broccoli  broken up into florets 
Curry powder – for a spicier meal add more
Cheddar Cheese cut into tiny diced pieces
Large packet of Ready Salted Crisps  (You can use any flavour but plain ready salted doesn’t overpower the other flavours)

Make the roux with the butter, flour and milk (everyone has their own way – but I throw the ingredients in together and with my pampered chef spiral whisk mix them)
Add curry powder –  even a good spoonful still leaves the meal mild

Place the broccoli across the bottom of an ovenproof dish
Cover with the chicken

Cover with the roux making sure all the chicken is covered.
Cook in hot oven for 20 minutes or so  –  roux must be bubbling

Take out and sprinkle the slightly broken crisps over – cover with cheese cubes and return to the oven.
10 minutes for the cheese to melt and the top to become an enticing melted brown and just bubbling.

Remove and serve with sides of your choice  – tiny crispy floured roasties go well, as does mashed potatoes.   Fresh peas or carrots bring a vibrancy to the table.  These can be added before the chicken stage – frozen peas or diced boiled carrots so keep the timings altogether.  Or served as a side dish.

This flies off the table so make sure you get enough first time round as there are never seconds left.



Follow my struggles to get my novel published by following ;  Tiggy Hayes

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