Did you know that the four “calling” birds that we sing of today were actually four “colly” birds in the earliest versions of the song Twelve Days of Christmas? Colly birds referred to blackbirds, which can be found almost everywhere in Singapore. Upon this revelation, I know some of you would love to catch and roast the next blackbird that leaves a “lasting impression” on your car. But, I refuse to resort to such savagery.
When I asked my husband what I could possibly make in relation to four colly birds, he very quickly suggested ‘cauliflower’. Corny, I know, and bordering on cheesy if you ask me. But I had to agree that a warm, comforting, cheesy cauliflower gratin makes a great side dish for a Xmas dinner. Plus cauliflower is a good source of Vit C, fiber, and helps decrease inflammation. So here it is… my husband’s very own cheesy “colly”flower gratin recipe for the fourth day of Xmas. What’s sets this recipe apart is the use of cauliflower stalks to thicken the sauce, reducing wastage and doubling the goodness of cauliflower in the dish!
Yields: One medium baking dish
1 medium cauliflower head
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup grated gruyere/cheddar
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1. Cut off cauliflower florets and steam them for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop up stalks into small pieces.
2. Add 1/4 cup of butter and cauliflower stalks to a saucepan over medium heat. When butter starts bubbling, add in flour and keep stirring for ~ 2 minutes.
3. Add milk and bring to a simmer, until cauliflower has softened.
4. When cauliflower stalks have softened, blend mixture till smooth. Return to saucepan.
5. Stir in grated cheese over low heat. When cheese has melted and mixture thickens, season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Place cooked cauliflower in a baking dish and pour sauce over.
7. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, melted butter and grated parmesan. Then sprinkle over surface of cauliflower.
8. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes, until top is golden brown and sauce beneath is bubbling.
If you missed out on past recipes in the 12 days of Xmas recipes series…