Tag Archives: bacon

caulicheese8

Cauliflower cheese with bacon, breadcrumbs and hazelnuts

caulicheese8Nothing says winter like melted cauliflower cheese. With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, I wanted a slightly healthier alternative to the annual mac and cheese.

Don’t ask why eating a vegetable coated in gruyere and parmesan makes me feel less guilty, but in my head this dish definitely counts as one of my five a day. caulicheese5

caulicheese4Bechamel sauce is simple and takes minutes to whip up, so not only is this dish delicious but it doesn’t demand hours at the stove. Big bonus if you’re thinking of serving this for Christmas dinner.

caulicheese3Of course there’s no question about whether you scatter extra cheese over the cauliflower.

caulicheese2Cheesus, Mary and Joseph- it’s holey satisfying. 

caulicheese7  

Cauliflower Cheese with hazelnuts, bacon and breadcrumbs
A fresh take on a winter staple
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. 3 tablespoons plain flour
  3. 1 1/2 cups milk
  4. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  5. 1/3 cup grated Gruyere
  6. 1 chopped head of white cauliflower
  7. 8 rashers of diced smoked bacon
  8. Handful of crushed blanched hazelnuts
  9. 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. For the bechamel cheese sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pot over medium heat, once melted add the plain flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes a paste
  3. Pour 1 cup of milk over the paste and then begin whisking continuously until there are no lumps
  4. Add both cheeses into the milk mixture and whisk until they are both melted into the sauce
  5. Once the cheese sauce has thickened, pour the last 1/2 cup of milk into the sauce pot, whisk and then remove from the heat
  6. Steam the cauliflower for 6 minutes in a sauce pot filled with 4 centimetres of boiling water
  7. Once the vegetables are cooked mix them into the cheese sauce with a wooden spoon
  8. Using a fry pan, cook the bacon pieces over a high heat before adding them into the sauce
  9. Scoop the cauliflower cheese into an ovenproof dish, before scattering the hazelnuts and breadcrumbs on top
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is a golden brown colour
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c-u speculoos bacon banana waffles_

Speculoos waffles with banana, bacon and speculoos maple syrup

 speculoos bacon banana waffles_

Speculoos is crack in a jar to me. Have you tried it? If not, go to the supermarket now and start spreading it on everything you see. 

It tastes like Christmas spiced biscuits and for years was only available in France, so whenever I visited my brothers at their summer house in Agen I would come back with as many jars as RyanAir would permit. However, this year marks the first year you can purchase it in the UK.  

Since buying two jars of crack biscuit I have not known what to do with it other than serve it on buttered toast. With winter fast approaching incorporating it in both the waffle batter and the maple syrup seemed just the right amount of Speculoos to me.

Who has heard of Speculoos before and what do you think of it?

speculoos bacon banana waffles w-out toppings

speculoos bacon banana waffles  c-u speculoos bacon banana waffles_

 Did you know that the Speculoos biscuit hails from Belgium? Now what could make their country more proud than their national dish, the waffle, served with, in my opinion, their second national treasure the Speculoos biscuit! Eet  Smakelijk! (Bon appetit in Dutch- I dare you to pronounce it!)

Speculoos Waffles with banana and bacon and speculoos maple syrup
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/2 cup speculoos
  4. 2 large bananas
  5. 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  6. 1 cup buttermilk
  7. 1/2 cup milk
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 5 rashers bacon
  10. Maple Speculoos Syrup
  11. 1/2 cup maple syrup
  12. 1/4 cup speculoos
Instructions
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, speculoos, buttermilk and eggs together in a mixing bowl
  2. Quarter 2 bananas and fry it together with the bacon over a medium heat with a tablespoon of maple syrup, making sure to cook both sides until they are brown and crispy
  3. Incorporate 4 pieces of the cooked banana, which should be brown and soft, into the waffle batter and mix until you have a thick, liquid mixture
  4. Turn on the waffle maker and when it is hot, scoop the batter out with a ladle and cook each waffle for 4-6 minutes, making sure they are a golden brown
  5. While the waffles are cooking, make the syrup by heating the speculoos and maple syrup together. Whisk the two together until the speculoos has melted
  6. Stack the waffles up, with the banana and bacon resting on top. Drizzle the speculoos maple syrup over the waffles and serve warm.
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