Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes

Monday, 8 November 2021

 

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes 
I love Baked Potatoes, or Jacket potatoes as they are lovingly referred to in the UK. I love that name. The idea of my favorite vegetable wearing a jacket greatly appeals to me.

I also love Cauliflower Cheese.  As a main dish or as a scrummy side dish, this always pleases me.

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes 
Today I am presenting two of my favorite things, jacket potatoes and cauliflower cheese in another of my favorite things . . .  Stuffed Baked Potatoes, or Twice Baked Potatoes as they are also known.

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes. Let me tell you, it doesn't get much better than this!!  These are fabulously tasty!

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes

Nigel Slater is one of my favorite British Cooks.  I read his book Toast, which is autobiographical and I have also watched all of his  television series.  He cooks the way I want to eat.

There is nothing pretentious about any of his cooking.  Simple good food, prepared simply, with optimum flavors.  He often poaches his cauliflower in milk to use in dishes like this one.
 
Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes 
Lets face it, it only makes sense to do so.  That way you are infusing the cauliflower with milk and you are infusing the milk with cauliflower.  Twice the flavor in each!

He's simply a culinary genius I think. 

Many people these days substitute cauliflower for potato, making faux mash, using cauliflower or a mix of cauliflower in an attempt to cut the carbs or make a recipe keto friendly. 

Whatever the reason it is a fact that potatoes and cauliflower go together like peas and, well, carrots!

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes 
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE TWICE BAKED CAULIFLOWER CHEESE POTATOES

Its simple really. There is nothing complicated or outrageous here.

  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 1/2 small head of cauliflower
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a quantity of full fat milk
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • grated strong cheddar cheese
Seven simple ingredients put together in the most delicious way! 

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes

HOW TO BAKE A POTATO

Baking potatoes is one of the easiest things to do. If you can bake a potato, you will never run out of delicious meal options. 

You want to start with a potato that is suitable for baking. This means you will want a high starch potato like a  King Edward (in the UK) or a Russet in North America.

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes

Mild in flavor these are the type of potato that tend to fall apart easily when cooking. Their light, mealy texture makes them perfect for mashing and for use as a jacket potato.

Also they have lovely thick skins, which make for the perfect case!  I adore potato skins!

I love my baked potatoes to have crisp skins and so I never wrap them when I am baking them in the oven.  Simply scrub them really well, dry them off and prick them in a few places with a fork.

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes 
Pricking them helps to prevent them from exploding in the oven and creating a mess. (Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt!)  I also like to rub the skins with a bit of butter or oil and dust with a bit of salt.

Then its as simple as throwing them right into the oven,  placing them directly on the oven rack.  That way the air can really circulate around them, making for a lovely crisp skin and cutting down a bit on the bake time.

The potatoes are done when you apply gentle pressure to the outsides and you can feel them yield on the inside.  The tip of a knife should also slip easily into them.  

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes

HOW TO MAKE TWICE BAKED CAULIFLOWER CHEESE POTATOES

Its very simple really. I have already told you how to bake a potato, and so all you really need to know now is how to cook the cauliflower.  I have taken a note from Nigel's book here and gently poached the cauliflower in milk.

I have chosen to use whole, or full fat milk as it gives the best flavor and lends a special richness to the dish.  You will need 1/2 of a small head of cauliflower, broken into florets.


Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes 
Pop the cauliflower into a saucepan and cover it with the milk. I add a broken bay leaf.  Breaking the bay leaf releases its natural oils and flavors.  

Be careful when heating the milk.  Milk doubles in volume when it boils. I don't boil the milk, but instead bring it just to the point of boil. You will know when it has reached that as there will be bubbles all around the edge of your saucepan and the milk will be steaming.

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes 
Reduce to a low simmer immediately and then gently simmer/poach the cauliflower until it is tender. This will take about 20 minutes.

When your potatoes are done, cut them in half horizontally and scoop all of the flesh out into a bowl, keeping the potato skins intact.  Add some butter and seasoning to the bowl. I use salt, pepper and a bit of grated nutmeg. Nutmeg goes very well with potatoes, cauliflower and milk.  

Mash that all together, using some of the milk from the poached cauliflower.  Yum. Yum.  You can then add the poached cauliflower and mash it in a bit. I like to leave it with a bit of texture.

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes 
This mixture then gets piled back into the empty potato skins, and pop them into a baking dish.  Mix together two grated cheeses, Parmesan and a nice strong Cheddar.  

Scatter this over top of the filled potatoes and return to the hot oven to bake for a further 15 minutes or so. Until everything is heated nicely through and the cheese has melted and is beginning to gild a golden brown in spots.  

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes
 
Toute finis!  That's it. Your Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes are done and ready to serve. You can serve them all on their own as I have done, simply with a salad on the side.

Or you can serve them as a side dish for something more substantial.  These also make a great main meal vegetarian option!

They truly are delicious. I hope you will be inspired to try them. If you like baked potatoes, and you like cauliflower and cheese, you are sure to LOVE these!

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes

Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes

Yield: 2
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 1 H & 15 MTotal time: 1 H & 20 M
These are quite simply delicious. A fabulous way to get in a few of your five a day. Served with a salad on the side they make a wonderful light supper.

Ingredients

  • 2 large baking potatoes (such as russets)
  • olive oil and salt
  • 1/2 of a small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) milk
  • 1 bay leaf, broken in half
  • 2 TBS butter
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 TBS grated strong cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450*F/230*C/ gas mark 7.  
  2. Scrub your potatoes really well and dry. Prick them with a fork in a few places. Rub with some oil as well as some fine sea salt. Place into the preheated oven direction on the oven rack.
  3. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the potatoes yield when lightly pressed. (The timing depends on the size of your potatoes.) 
  4. While the potatoes are baking, put the cauliflower florets into a saucepan and cover with the milk. Add the broken bay leaf. Heat almost to the boil over medium heat.  Reduce to a slow simmer and cook until the cauliflower is tender. (about 20 minutes)
  5. Cut the baked potatoes in half horizontally through the middle. Using a spoon scrape the flesh into a bowl, leaving the skins intact. Add the butter, salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of nutmeg, and some of the milk used to cook the cauliflower and mash. Add the cooked cauliflower and mash a bit more. I like to leave the cauliflower with a bit of texture.
  6. Pile this mixture back into the potato skins and pop them into a baking dish. 
  7. Mix together both cheeses and sprinkle them generously over top of the potatoes. (You can use more cheese if you want, it depends on how cheesy you like them.)
  8. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes until the skins are crisp and the cheese has melted and started to gild golden brown.
  9. Serve immediately.
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Twice Baked Cauliflower Cheese Potatoes
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4 comments

  1. What a great idea! I love a filled baked potato and this sounds exactly the filling we'd enjoy. I'll add baking potatoes to my weekly shopping list.

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  2. Sounds so delish! Thanks and have a happy Monday! xo,V

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  3. I'm going to check out Nigel's book. I read the Guardian because they have some good recipes/writers. I love cauliflower cheese. I can't wait to try this.

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  4. These look so good! They would be perfect with pretty well any main course entree or even with just a salad as you suggest. I rarely cook potatoes without adding cauliflower, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic boiled with them and 2 bay leaves. Everything gets mashed together except the bay leaves. Butter and half and half are added. Yum! Love and hugs, Elaine

    ReplyDelete

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