Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cauliflower Gratin with Bacon and Porcini Mushrooms

As a member of the Foodie Blogroll, I got the opportunity to request some mushroom samples from Marx Foods. Justin, from Marx Foods, got ahold of me and sent them right away. I am so excited to try out some new recipes using the Marx Foods' wild mushrooms. There are a few varieties that I am not familiar with so it will be interesting to see how I can use them!
For this recipe, I decided to pair some Porcini mushrooms in a Cauliflower gratin with bacon. Let me tell you, it is really great! You can hardly call this a vegetable dish because of it's creamy goodness. The cauliflower is tender and the bacon adds a bit of salty goodness. Also, I like that you can use regular milk instead of heavy cream or half and half. It's just easier because I always have milk on hand and it definitely helps with the calories (which I will take the help where I can get it because this dish is a creamy, cheesy love fest!)

So, now lets talk about the mushrooms. Without the addition of the Porcini mushrooms, I think this dish would have been OK, but the Porcinis really make it decadent. They are tender and so flavorful (Thanks again Justin!!) The Marx Foods mushrooms came dried, with instructions on how to rehydrate them and how to calculate the amount needed when a recipe calls for fresh mushrooms. I thought this was really helpful. However, I decided that with all of the cheesy goodness going on, there'd by more than enough moisture to just add them dried. It saved time and worked out perfectly. The sweet, earthy taste of the mushrooms pair really well with the salty bacon and creamy cauliflower. I also think that the Chanterelle mushrooms would be nice in this dish, too. **Edit: After talking with Justin from Marx foods again, he suggested reconstituting the Chanterelle mushrooms if you use them in this dish. They tend to be a bit woody when reconsituted and need to be chopped, which can be difficult when they are dried! Thanks for the tip Justin!**
I recommed going on over to Marx Foods ( and trying out some samples they have - it's much more than mushrooms!

Cauliflower Gratin with Bacon and Porcini Mushrooms

1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
8 oz. bacon
1/4 C. Porcini Mushrooms (or any other variety you like)
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned 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.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon until very crispy. Drain on paper towel and set aside. 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. Turn off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 3/4 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

Pour about 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 8 inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top, sprinkle bacon and mushrooms over the cauliflower. 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. Serve hot or at room temperature.

No comments:

Post a Comment