Petitchef

CRISPY TOPPED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND CAULIFLOWER GRATIN


I think my magazine buying is a bit out of control. The pile on my lamp table was too high to see over (and Miss Pittipat, my beautiful tortoise shell cat, likes to leap off tall buildings and send things flying), so it was time to clip recipes. Among the rather large pile of clippings was this gem from the March issue of Cooking Light. Since Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are favorite veggies in the Food of Love kitchen, this was a great place to start.

Yield:  8 servings
4 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 pound)
4 cups trimmed quartered Brussels sprouts (about 1 3/4 pound)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 1% lowfat milk
2/3 cup half and half (I used lowfat half and half)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
2 cups Vidalia onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
cooking spray
1/2 cup (2 oz) grated Parmigiano cheese
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the cauliflower and sprouts in boiling water 2-4 minutes, then drain.

Combine flour, milk, half and half, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in milk mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly (3-4 minutes).

Remove from heat and stir in the vegetables.

Coat an 11 X 7 inch broiler-safe dish with cooking spray and spoon in the mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Remove foil.

Preheat broiler to high. Combine cheese and Panko and sprinkle evenly over vegetables. Broil 5 inches from heat for 3-4 minutes, until browned. Let stand a few minutes before serving.
N.I.   148 cal; 5.2 g fat; 18.3 g carb; 8.7 g protein; 3.8 g fiber
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TASTE NOTES
Because we like eating our veggies fresh, I cut this recipe in half and still had leftovers. Despite a longish list of ingredients, this side dish went together very quickly and was the perfect accompaniment to a store-roasted chicken. Because oven temperatures vary so widely, be sure that your veggies are bubbling before you add the topping. This was a satisfying side dish, so much so that no starch was needed or missed. Because Brussels sprouts have been in storage for a while, the next time I make this gratin, I will use just cauliflower or cauliflower and broccoli.








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