I am always looking for recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes that are festive, flavorful, frugal and, well, NOT boring for Thanksgiving. I have made potato with poblanos gratin before, but mashed potatoes are a must-do on Thanksgiving, so I decided to try cauliflower in this recipe instead of potatoes. I was inspired to try a low-carb veggie by one of my favorite blogs, Kalyn’s Kitchen, which features fabulous low-glycemic deliciousness.
The smokiness of the smoked paprika is perfect and the poblanos pair well with cauliflower. This has been one of my most successful food experiments in quite awhile. I ate a small piece, and my husband ate THE ENTIRE REST OF THE PAN. I am NOT making that up. He was still raving about it this morning when I left for work!
SMOKY CAULIFLOWER POBLANO GRATIN
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time 30 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
1 large head (or two small heads) cauliflower, 3 pounds total
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (I used 2 per cent)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 large poblano or pasilla peppers, 1 pound total
A little canola oil spray
12 ounces Parmesan, Asiago or Romano cheese, grated
Cut cauliflower into quarters and remove core. Cut into 1/4 inch slices. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Cut poblanos into quarters and remove seeds and stems. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and then press down with the palms of your hands to flatten poblanos. Spray with a little oil and then broil about 6 inches from heat until skins are very dark brown. Let cool and then remove skins and dice poblanos.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Whisk in flour until absorbed. Whisk in milk and simmer until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Stir in paprika.
Layer as you would a lasagna in a 9 by 13 inch pan: 1/3 of cauliflower; 1/3 of poblanos; 2/3 cup of white sauce; and 1/3 of cheese; making three layers ending with cheese on top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned and bubbly around edges. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Some other fabulous cauliflower gratin recipes out there in the blog-o-sphere:
Cauliflower Gratin, Serious Eats
Sharp Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Broccoli Rabe and Cauliflower Gratin, Barefoot Kitchen Witch
Cauliflower, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Gratin, Serious Eats
— posted by Donna