Jump to content
Complete France Forum

Cauliflower Cheese and other gratins etc


idun

Recommended Posts

Wondering which cheese others use in cauliflower cheese when they live in France. I realise that cheddar can be quite easily available, but if it is not, what would you use??

I remember once and only once trying emmantael and it was sickly and not to our taste at all. So I started using gouda or edam instead which we were happy with. Although, I do find that cheddar seems to thicken the sauce a lot more than the dutch cheese, so have to adjust my ingredients to cope with that.

In fact, I tend to use, cheddar or dutch cheeses in many of my french gratins with vegetables, like cabbage gratin or courgette gratin.

Emmantael is essential for croque monsieur and some crepes, like egg and cheese filling or cheese and ham. Just 'makes' them.

Also, I always use plain flour in my bechamel, and a good friend in England always makes it with cornflour, and I have no idea why, feels a bit more gloopy to me, but there you go, we all have different tastes........... like those who love yorkshire puds with thick and what I call stodgy bottoms, even when the sides are well risen, light and fluffy.  I only eat the sides, never the bottom, but I see friends who eat it with relish.

Might explain why every cafloutis I have tried has never been more than one mouthful, which I have been pleased to swallow, although I do love a good far breton.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to buy cantal vieux too. It's similar to a strong cheddar.
Carrefour sold cheddar as well, which I sometimes bought.
btw Idun, I was re-reading the veg. section of E. David's French Provincial Cooking and found a strange recipe for Pommes de Terre Dauphine.
A mixture of boiled and sieved potatoes and a thick bechamel sauce with added egg and some cheese. Then you deepfry spoonfuls of the mixture. It sounds delicious, but a lot of faffing about.
She does say though that this is completely different from Gratin Dauphinois, which you make.
Recipe on page 212 in her book.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that is strange, pommes dauphine are usually seived mash, mixed into a choux pastry and then made into balls and deeply fried. Cannot imagine how bechamel would retain it's shape etc and not just melt away, but I have never tried it.

I have made them with a prawn in the middle of them and they were quite disappointing. A friend suggested cheese, but I rather like them as is to be honest, and very popular dish in the dauphine[:D]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Idun wrote :

I never tried cantal as a cooking cheese, although I am partial to it, just to eat. No idea why I didn't, never thought of it, I suppose.

I can imagine it would have worked well. Interesting.

We've used Cantal entre deux for cooking and eating since we arrived .. it's definitely not cheddar but it works very well, albeit with a more delicate flavour than cheddar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Idun - Yes choux mix is a better description than bechamel.
As for cheddar here in the UK, it seems much more bland than I remember it. I've had a piece of Edam in the fridge for a while, well overdate, and it's very good now!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When my eldest son was a toddler he would attack any cheese he could get hold of, he still loves all cheeses.

His brother and me, are mild cheddar, emmantael, comte, normal gouda or edam people. Hard cheeses and fairly mild.

It isn't as if I don't use strong cheeses as I am very very good at choosing good ones for cheese lovers, including camemberts. And I cook with strong cheeses  for those who like, I just don't and don't eat what I cook or bake.  Firm favourites at the moment are stilton and walnut scones...... beurk, but if you like that sort of stuff, I daresay it is lovely[:D]

My mother would NEVER cook anything she didn't like, and I think it made me a fussy eater really and it simply isn't fair.  Mind you, the only thing I cannot cook, no matter how my husband loves them and that is the inevitable andouillette, just the thought has me feeling very unwell.[:-))]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Patf"]
Idun - Yes choux mix is a better description than bechamel.
As for cheddar here in the UK, it seems much more bland than I remember it. I've had a piece of Edam in the fridge for a while, well overdate, and it's very good now!

[/quote]

You should try these, the potatoes do need sieving though, as the mash needs to be super smooth. And that makes them a bit of a waff on. Still, we enjoy them with such as a bourgignon, something with a sauce at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do a cheat to avoid making a bechamel, it works really well, adjust the quantities to your taste.

 

Mix moutarde de Dijon with crème fraiche, stir in some Lidl rapé au trois fromages, grated black Pepper, then spread on parboiled cauliflower.

 

Could not be more simple, tastes great, I use the same mix for poireaux but in that case I just chuck the ingrédients over them in the pan at the end of the cooking and mix it all up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you mean raclette cheese lindal?

Love raclette, but have never tried it in other cooking apart from raclette and my version of a panini with jambon cru....... miam!

Re your 'cheating' Chancer, I do a cheaty version of risotto, I boil rice until cooked and then I tip it straight onto very very finely chopped onions and then put it all in a bowl, mix well and when it has cooled a little, mix in some creme fraiche and in france, elle et vire cream too and check of seasoning.

Ofcourse it isn't a risotto, but quick and creamy and rather nice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did Chancer's cheat's version and, whilst it isn't as good as my own cheese sauce, it tastes just fine and will be useful for when I am short of time or of patience or just feeling lazy.

I'll deffo use it for lasgne, however.

BTW, does anyone use chapelure on top to give it some crunch and look browner?  I also like to sprinkle on some pimente forte, again for the colour and that bit of heat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you still cook things the way you learnt in France, Idun? I do , especially with seasonal fruit and veg. I try to keep things fresh and simple, I think it's much healthier.
I watch the recipes on this site:
https://www.750g.com/
Although they sometimes include blatant adverts for a product which isn't particularly healthy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Yes, I do do much cooking exactly as I did in France. My cooking was always eclectic though, and I have new things I cook since returning, as I do like to experiment, sometimes it's good, sometimes it isn't, so I don't do it again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made a lovely (even if I do say so myself) spinach and cream cheese sauce, st agur, to go with salmon tonight. A little bit of milk and a bit of creme fraiche. No flour as it thickens nicely with the CF. Yum yum, much enjoyed it
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have used the Jamy Oliver "Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese" recipe for a couple of years.

Quick, easy to make and delicious. He recommends pancetta but any old "jambon de pays" will do when grilled. The cheese used is french hard cheese so any Cantal as mentioned above or similar hard cheese will do. NO BECHAMEL !! ...... why spoil a good dish .....
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="mogs"]I made a lovely (even if I do say so myself) spinach and cream cheese sauce, st agur, to go with salmon tonight. A little bit of milk and a bit of creme fraiche. No flour as it thickens nicely with the CF. Yum yum, much enjoyed it[/quote]

Mogs, do you blanch and drain the spinach first before putting it into the sauce?  Do you chop up raw spinach and just stir it in?

Please tell me what you do because I have some lovely looking salmon filets, St Agur and fresh spinach so I hope to make this for Easter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...