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This post describes how to cook an exotic dish, Cauliflower Broccoli Gratin, in easy steps. A perfect recipe to woo the opposite sex. But before the recipe, I’ll talk about why an amateur cook like me even dared such an elaborate preparation. Skip ahead 3 paras if you’re just interested in the recipe.
Newbie trying Exotic dish, and succeeding
Having a domestic help, for almost everything that is non-core to your life, is an amazing experience. Wake up in the morning, and ask – Bhaiya, chai pilao. Aur haan, do ande ubaal do aur ek glass dudh bournvita. [Get me some tea please. And yes, boil two eggs and a glass of milk bournvita]. Ask him/her to prepare Rajma chawal for lunch and kadhi, roti and Gakar ka Halwa for dinner. Heavenly!
My all rounder domestic help left for home (for Holi) 3 weeks ago. Life has never been this dude-you-have-to-cook. So, started with. No, its not Maggi or Chana Daal or Fried Rice. Ladies and Gentlemen, fasten your seat belts. Its Cauliflower Broccoli Gratin. An expert level dish prepared by a nube. Not exactly inspiring. But surprise! It turned out well.
Recipe in 10 words
Bake ingredients, crust to form a golden crust at top.
Hint: Grate means to scrape.
Gratin is a food preparation technique where you put a layer (of breadcrumbs, grated cheese and butter) above an ingredient mixture (of vegetables e.g. cauliflower, broccoli, potato, tomato, carrot etc), bake it till a golden crust forms at the top. You can try a meat based ingredient mix too.
Read on for how to prepare a vegetable based Gratin in easy steps.
Ingredients of Cauliflower Broccoli Gratin
- Vegetables – I used Cauliflower, Broccoli, Potato, Tomato, Carrot
- Cooking Oil (sunflower, Mustard, Olive whatever suits you)
- Cheese (Cheddar, Parmesan whatever)
- Bread crumbs
- Pepper (optional)
- Prepare the ingredients
- Prepare cheese sauce
- Pour over the ingredients alternating layers of cheese sauce and bread crumbs
- Bake it
Prepare the Ingredients
- Separate small florets of cauliflower and wash it
- Ditto for Broccoli
- Cauliflower takes longer time to boil than Broccoli. So, first boil the cauliflower florets in water, and add some salt.
- After 5 minutes, add Broccoli florets. Let them boil for another 7/8 min
- Drain water and keep aside
- Cut the other vegetables – tomato, carrot etc (you may grate the carrots if you want)
Prepare cheese sauce
- Cut the onions into small pieces (doesn’t really matter whether you have arcs or random small pieces)
- In a bowl, add 2 spoons of Maida
- Add small quantity of milk and stir. Keep adding milk (total 1 cup) and stirring meanwhile.
- Grate the cheese
- Heat some cooking oil in a pan. Add the cut onions
- Pour the milk maida mixture and add grated cheese
- Heat and stir the mixture. Stop when it thickens. Keep aside.
- Heat the oven at high temperature (I did it at 200 degrees C for 10 min)
Pour over the ingredients alternating layers to cheese sauce and bread crumbs
- Apply butter on the oven tray
- Spread the ingredients (vegetables) uniformly over the buttered tray
- Pour a layer of cheese sauce
- Add a layer of bread crumbs
- Repeat the above two steps
- Grate some cheese atop the mix
Bake it Baby
- Open the oven door and insert the tray (be careful, the oven is too hot!)
- Bake it for 20 min at 200 degrees C
Tada. Your exotic Cauliflower Broccoli Gratin is ready. Devour it with ketchup and Oregano (as a friend says, Everything tastes good with Oregano).
I used it as a Birthday base instead of a Cake. 🙂
Acknowledgements: Sudeshna (help over phone) and google (laptop was open with several links open in the browser while I prepared this dish)
Further Reading: Cook to Bang