Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Cauliflower cheese pasties (served with carrot pickles)

A large white head of cauliflower in the fridge is a beautiful thing.  It has so many possibilities.  Yet when paired with a stray square of puff pastry, my mind went to the comfort of cauliflower cheese .... in a pastie!  And we needed comfort on the day before school holidays end.  Daylight savings starts just before term 4 starts every year and yet every year I still resent that stolen hour.  So comfort food it was!

The cauliflower I cooked to stuff into pastry was broken up small because I didn't want big chunks in my pasties.  However there was another reason.  I wanted Sylvia to have some and she is not keen on cauliflower.  But what kid can resist any vegetable covered in a rich creamy cheese sauce.  Especially a little fan of mac and cheese.

Amazingly, Sylvia ate her pasties but refused to eat any cauliflower cheese that was not wrapped in a pastry blanket.  Whereas I have loved cauliflower cheese since I was a child and found it as delicious as it was ugly.  And it was incredibly ugly!  I loved eating the leftovers with a simple pea and lentil salad, cherry tomatoes and some pickled carrots.  I really loved the pickled carrots - more than the ones I had made before.  My experimenting in the kitchen does not always work but on this occasion the meals were winners!

More cauilflower cheese recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Cauliflower cheese soup (gf)
Cauliflower cheese macaroni
Leftover cauliflower cheese, vegetables and rice soup
My mum's cauliflower cheese 
Vegan cauliflower cheese (v)
Whole cauliflower cheese

Whole cauliflower cheese
An original recipe from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Serves 10-12

1 cauliflower head
15-20 min til falls apart when a knife goes through
2 heaped dessertspoons of butter
2 heaped dessertspoons of plain flour (I used wholemeal)
2 1/2 cups milk (I used soy)
135g gruyere cheese, grated
85g extra tasty cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp seeded mustard
few pinches salt
grind of pepper
puff pastry (ready rolled in squares)
beaten egg or milk for glazing

Preheat oven to 220 C and line a baking tray with baking paper.  (Line more trays depending on how many pasties you want to maek

Steam cauliflower head in a large saucepan with about 1-2 inches of water at the bottom.  Then turn off heat and leave while you make the sauce.

To make the sauce melt butter in a large saucepan or frypan.  Stir in flour to make a paste and stir for a few minutes until cooked - often it is easier to tell by smelling the cooked flour but you may notice a slight darkening in colour.  Gradually add the milk: just a little at first and stir until combined and creamy, continue to add in ever increasing amounts until the liquid becomes thin (this is when you stop adding: it should not be too thick as it will thicken more when you boil it and when you add cheese - you can always add a little extra milk later but it is more work to thicken).  Bring to the boil and it should thicken.  Now stir in the cheeses and it should thicken more.  Season with mustard, salt and pepper, to taste.

Drain the cauliflower.  Tip it into the cheese sauce.  Stir to coat with sauce and use a wooden spoon to break up into smaller pieces.

Cut pastry into squares.  Spread some cauliflower cheese on one half the square, leaving a 1cm gap around the edge of that side.  Brush with egg or milk along the edge around the cauliflower cheese.  Fold the pasty in half (you can do rectangles or triangles but I prefer rectangles for less fussy corners).  Brush with egg or milk and use a fork to make indentations around the edges of the pastry.  Pierce a few times with the fork.

Place pasties on a lined tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is gold brown.

Pickled carrots
Inspired by The Kitchn

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt

2 medium carrots, grated
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 garlic clove, crushed

Bring vinegar, water, sugar and salt to the boil in a small saucepan and simmer for a few minutes while grating carrots.  Place carrots, mustard seeds and garlic in small mixing bowl.  Pour vinegar mixture over and let cool.  Ideally leave for a few hours but I did have a little while it was still warm.  Keeps in the fridge for a week.

On the Stereo:
Remember us to life: Regina Spektor


  1. I agree with you that cauliflower cheese is the best thing ever! As is anything wrapped in crispy puff pastry. Never thought to put the two together. My mom made "baked cauliflower" even though it is not an Indian dish at all- so it is a childhood comfort food for me.

  2. She's a smart girl only wanting it in pastry! I love pastry so if I had a choice when young I might have done the same

  3. Good idea for the cauliflower that's waiting in my refrigerator, but I think I'll just do the vegetable + sauce, not the pastry. Your lunch bowl really looks good!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  4. As it happens I'm just compiling a cauliflower cheese post myself, so I will add a link to your post, as this idea with the cauliflower cheese pasty is so great! :)

  5. Clever and I wonder why have i've never thought of putting cauliflower cheese in a pasty, i love how your head works! I agree with you this is a winner!

  6. These pasties sound delicious! As does cauliflower Mac and cheese.


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