Yes, I know it's not a real word, already! However, certain family members...and you KNOW who you are, have been tempting me with thoughts of delicious cruciferous vegetables with cheesy sauce. Now, all you cooks out there in Pixie-land just KNOW that you cannot tempt a cooking nut with a tasty treat, and expect her NOT to make it, now...can you? That's right, I knew you'd see it through my admittedly rose-colored glasses. So, my problem became just which vegetable I could blanket with sauce....what to have. broccoli or cauliflower? Well, like all good Portuguese-American Princesses (oh Lordy, I'm a PAP!), I knew the answer straight away...BOTH.
So, I quickly put 1/2 inch water in the bottom of my large pan, and got the florets ready for steaming....
Then, although I wanted cheesy goodness, I did not want the full fat content of whole milk, or butter. So I made a roux with fat-free margarine and flour. The 2-2-2 rule applies again, Two tablespoons of butter, two of flour, and two cups of liquid. Here's the start..
When the butter and flour were incorporated, I gradually added two cups of vegetable stock, and whisked to combine. Stir frequently over medium heat, until the sauce has thickened a little, like so. At this point, steam the cauliflower and broccoli - watch it closely, no one likes mushy veggies!
Now, the fun part..clockwise from upper left, salt, pepper, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, brown mustard and a plate with a little sharp cheddar, Swiss, and goat cheeses.
Turn your heat to low and add some salt & pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce (more for color than any real heat), the cheeses, a sprinkle or two of cayenne pepper, and about a tablespoon of brown mustard...whisk all together to make a smooth, thick sauce.
When all the cheese is nicely melted into the sauce, turn the heat off, and prepare your veggies...I like to assemble them in a manner similar-looking to how they grow - behold the wild and un-stalk-able broccoliflower...
I know, I'm strange like that! Spoon some of the sauce over the top, sprinkle with a little more cayenne if you like, and enjoy!
Although there may be serious, apocalyptic consequences later (ahem), I just adored how cheesy and delicious this was, knowing that it was made with non-fat margarine, and vegetable broth. Proof positive that one CAN have one's broccoliflower, and eat it too. The best part was....having all that leftover cheese sauce....hmmmmm, now whatever am I going to do with that? Stay tuned.
Eat well (and healthily) my friends. Love and kindness to all,