Rotten Cauliflower Bake - Perfect Entertaining
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Rotten Cauliflower Bake

This was my favorite (OK, just about only way) that I would eat cauliflower when I was little. It certainly is not health food, but it is kid friendly. I bought close to twenty heads of the deep dark purple cauliflower that has made its way onto the market because it was so fascinating to me. A lot of it is in my freezer, but I used it in preserves and other dishes as well. In this dish it is startling in contrast to the white of the sauce, especially if you have mentioned that it is a cauliflower dish. If you cannot find the purple cauliflower, use white cauliflower or even broccoli or broccoflower.

1 pound coarsely chopped purple cauliflower
1 tablespoon butter
2 minced shallots
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup chicken stock
salt and white pepper to taste
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the cauliflower in a shallow casserole dish. In a small frying pan, sauté the shallots in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat until soft. At the same time melt 1/2 cup butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Once the butter is melted add the flour and mix well. While stirring constantly, increase the heat to medium high. Cook the flour mixture for 3 minutes, then add the half and half and bring to a boil. Add the chicken stock, salt, and white pepper and return to a boil. Add the shallots. Pour the sauce evenly over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the parmesan. Return to the oven right before serving and bake for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts.

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