Monday, August 8, 2011

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Gratin

{Meatless Monday}

Sorry for the multiple breaks I have taken from posting my weekly recipes.  I have had a wonderfully full summer.  We have enjoyed wonderful vacations.  I just spent the last hour clearing all photos off of my camera and sorting/deleting them.  Here's a few of my favorite from this summer:

            This is all but 5 of my parents' grandchildren at our Family Reunion in California.

 I LOVE LOVE LOVE this little beach area.  This is where I grew up camping every summer and I am SO glad that my kids are going to have memories at this exact same place.  It is so beautiful and peaceful!

 My two youngest got to enjoy their first day ever at Disneyland and it happened to be my birthday!  It was probably the best birthday I have ever had as a Mom!  I love Disneyland and what better gift to a Mom than to have all 5 kids happy and content the whole day?!?

 This is those same little ones at the end of the day konked out in bed.  So cute how they were cuddling.  I wish that happened more often when they were awake! ;)

Here's all of my kids waiting to go on Buzz Lightyear.  Have any of you been on this ride?  Are you good at it?  Well.....I STINK!!! And I mean REALLY STINK.  Even my little four year old got over 16000 points and I got about 1400.  I am not kidding.  I don't know what it is about me, but I did just as poorly the last time we came here!

And this is my four girls (after Dad had already taken the tired boy back to the resort) waiting in line for Big Thunder Railroad.  My 7 year old just wasn't too sure about if she really wanted to ride it.  I think it scared her pretty badly, but it ended up being the thing that she is the most proud of.  She has been telling everyone about how she rode it!

And here's two more of us at the beach in Oceanside, CA.  It was so beautiful and so relaxing!

Now...on to our recipe....

I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen site.  I have only tried a few recipes off of there...but each one has been well-loved!  I don't normally love Brussels sprouts, but a friend had given me hers out of her Bountiful Basket, so I went searching for a good recipe.

Here's what you need:

¾ heads of cauliflower, cut into small florets
¾ pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, quartered lengthwise
1 teaspoon salt 
4 tablespoons butter, divided 
3 tablespoons flour 
2 cups hot milk 
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 
1 pinch ground nutmeg 
¾ cups grated Gruyere, divided     --I just used Medium Cheddar--SO not the same, but it's cheap!
½ cups grated Parmesan 
¼ cups bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain. Throw the cooked cauliflower into the bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking any further. Bring the pot back up to a boil and put in the quartered Brussels sprouts and cook for 3-4 minutes. While the sprouts are cooking, the cauliflower should be completely cooled. Drain them and set aside.

After the Brussels sprouts are done, throw them in the bowl of ice water and ice.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened.

Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.
Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 x 11 x 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower and brussels sprouts on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned.

 I really LOVED the top...who doesn't love crispy browned parmesan cheese with bread crumbs and a creamy sauce.  Oh, and yeah, I guess the vegetables were good too! ;)
So the next time you get some Brussels sprouts...give them a try.  I have never had them taste so good!

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