Cooking for me has to be flexible, fast and not terribly complicated. I am not one of those type of cooks who follows a strict recipe, but do things sort of on the fly and intuitively. Today I’m sharing two recipes with you…one that is a base for so many foods you will wonder how you ever lived without it! The other is what you see above and it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner…
This may look like a strange jar full of marshmallow fluff, but it’s a great sauce to have on hand and the easiest to make! I call it my substitute for bechamel and it’s made from…
one of the strangest looking but so good for you veggies on the planet…cauliflower! I use this sauce over rice, pasta, potatoes and it’s good enough to use in place of any bechamel…
Creamy Faux Bechamel Cauliflower Sauce
- Large head of cauliflower
- Vegetable broth
- Milk…I use unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
- Optional: Olive Oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg
1. Chop or break cauliflower into florets of even size.
2. Heat water to a boil and add florets, continuing to boil for about 7 to 10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, but don’t rinse.
3. Put in blender and slowly add vegetable broth until a liquid consistency is achieved. Add milk to thicken as desired while blending until the sauce is smooth. You can then add a small amount of olive oil (experiment with that if you like the taste), salt, pepper or nutmeg. I love the heightened flavor that nutmeg brings to the sauce.
That brings me to the next recipe, which I use the Creamy Faux Bechamel sauce on…
If you’ve ever been to France then you’ve most likely had a Croque Madame sandwich. Every bistro in Paris has this staple on the menu and I’ve had more than my share, and it’s something that you can always count on for some yum! We have these for breakfast, lunch or dinner in our home and they are filling enough that just half a sandwich will fill you up and keep you energized for quite awhile…
Here’s my healthier version using the faux bechamel sauce in the recipe above…
Healthier Version of Croque Madame
Brioche bread or a similar soft sliceable bread such as challah
Gruyere cheese…either sliced or shredded
Grated parmesan cheese
Garnish…I used thyme, since I had it on hand
1. Slice the brioche into 8 thick slices
2. Brush one side of each slice with softened butter.
3. In a non-stick skillet lightly brown each buttered side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Now do the same to the reverse sides of your slices.
4. Top four of the slices with gruyere cheese (one slice each, or shredded…small amount for less calories:-)
5. Next lay a slice of ham on top and a spoonful of the “bechamel” topped with a small amount of grated parm.
6. Place the second slice of bread on top and press down lightly on your sandwich.
7. I like to add another spoonful of the creamy cauliflower sauce on top and a bit more grated parmesan and a dash of nutmeg. This version is a little healthier than the traditional version since it uses the cauliflower sauce instead of something heavier:-)
8. Place in a 325 degree oven for about 4 or 5 minutes, just enough to melt the cheese.
9. Top with a fried egg, slice each sandwich in half and serve warm.
To make an equally delicious Croque-Monsieur just eliminate the fried egg!
See you on Friday for a Designer Tips for Winter post…featuring 5 bloggers that are always full of inspiration!