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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cauliflower Sformato

Elaine Louie  
  Time 2 hours 
 Yield Six four-ounce flans 
Featured in: The Temporary Vegetarian: Cauliflower Sformato.

For the sformato:
 Half a large head (about 12 ounces) cauliflower
1 cup milk, plus 1/4 cup or as needed
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons flour
2 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnishing
 Freshly grated nutmeg
 Freshly ground black pepper
 Unflavored nonstick spray
 cracked or coarse black pepper, for garnish

For the fonduta sauce (optional):
½ cup heavy cream
4 ounces Gorgonzola dolce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a large pot of lightly salted water over high heat to bring to a boil. Cut the half head of cauliflower into quarters, removing the outer leaves and the tougher part of the stem. With a sharp knife, cut the florets into 1 inch pieces, and slice the center stalk thinly.

2. Reserve a packed 3/4 cup of the florets, and add remaining florets and sliced stems to the boiling water. Boil until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a blender. Blend, adding 1/4 cup milk, or as needed, to make a very thick, smooth, puree. Pour into a large bowl, and set aside.
3. In a small pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 cup of milk just until steaming. Season with salt to taste. Cover and turn off heat. In a second small pot over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter, and whisk in flour. Cook until thickened, whisking constantly, about 3 minutes. Add hot milk and whisk constantly to make a thick béchamel, 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Fold the béchamel into the cauliflower puree. Add eggs, 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, a pinch of nutmeg, and salt to taste. In a small sauté pan over medium-high, heat remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and add 3/4 cup cauliflower florets. Sauté until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and fold florets into béchamel mixture.
5. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Lightly coat the insides of six four-ounce ramekins with nonstick spray, and fill almost to the top with the flan mixture. Place in a baking dish and add boiling water until it reaches two-thirds up the sides of the ramekins. Cover tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil, and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, and cook until the centers are firm yet still jiggle a little. Remove ramekins from the water and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to three days.
6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Meanwhile, allow ramekins to sit at room temperature until no longer chilled. Place in a baking dish and add boiling water until it reaches two-thirds up the sides of the ramekins. Cover tightly with foil, and bake until reheated, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the fonduta sauce.
7. In a small pot over low heat, combine the heavy cream and Gorgonzola dolce. Stir until melted and smooth.
8. To serve, remove the sformato from the water bath. Run a knife around the inside of a ramekin, and place a small plate on top. Invert, and remove the ramekin. The sformato should unmold effortlessly. Repeat with remaining ramekins. Spoon fonduta sauce over each sformato, and sprinkle the top with a little black pepper and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Adapted from Adam Weisell, former executive chef, Aurora

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)
270 calories; 21 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 4 grams sugars; 11 grams protein; 121 milligrams cholesterol; 352 milligrams sodium

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