the Hun was neutralized and peace restored.) So buck up, stiffen your backbone, measure out that rationed (vegan) cheese with a smile, remember that better times lie ahead, and enjoy, because this dish is pretty damned good!
Baked Cauliflower Cheese
~ 1.5 lbs. cauliflower, broken into florets
~ 2.5 cups plain, unsweetened soymilk
~ 1 bay leaf
~ 5-6 each: black peppercorns, whole cloves
~ 2 tsp. bouillon, or stock cube to suit the amount of liquid
~ 1/2 tsp. prepared English mustard
~ 1/2-1 tsp. Liquid Smoke (optional, for that "bacony" something)
~ 1 tbsp. margarine
~ 1 large leek, cleaned and chopped
~ 1 tbsp. flour
~ 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
~ 1/4 cup grated vegan cheddar cheese
~ 1 slice stale or toasted bread, crumbled
~ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and coat a deep pie dish with cooking spray.
~ In a saucepan, combine the milk, bouillon, bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves, mustard, and Liquid Smoke (if using). Cover, bring to a boil - you can obviously do this in the microwave as well - and then remove from heat and set aside to "seethe" for at 15-20 minutes.
~ While that's happening, cook the cauliflower in salted, boiling water for about 4 minutes, until just cooked. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water.
~ Strain the milk mixture and discard the bay leaf, peppercorns, etc.
~ In another saucepan, melt the margarine over medium-low heat and sauté the chopped leeks for about 2 minutes.
~ Turn the heat to low and add the flour; cook for a minute, and add some of the milk to make a roux.
~ Add the nutritional yeast, vegan cheddar, and half the milk; raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for a few minutes more. Add the remaining milk and cook another 5 minutes until smooth.
~ Transfer the cooked cauliflower to the baking dish and pour the cheese over it, making sure all the florets are coated.
~ Top with the crumbled bread and bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until browned and bubbling. Allow to rest about 10 minutes before serving.