Cod, Cauliflower & Chorizo Mornay

On 14th February 2016, This was Dinner

We were going to make a ‘special’ meal for Valentines Day but we were naughty yesterday and had a Chinese takeaway which meant the cod that I had defrosted needed using before the pork did. All’s well that ends well as this was a far better meal than the pork anyway.

We took Walter for a walk in the woods today. It was a lovely crisp morning and we donned our wellies and off we went. It is nice to walk him up at Cusworth Hall and the surrounding area but in the woods he can be off the lead a little longer. Although he got a bit cocky at times and had to be shouted back. He has some confidence that little bugger! He doesn’t get to meet as many new friends but he still met some.

I never thought to take him here but was reminded of the place when I read this Doncopolitan post.

Anyway, what is a Mornay I hear you ask? Well it is ‘a Béchamel sauce with shredded or grated Gruyère cheese and egg yolk added’ (source: Wikipedia). There’s no egg in this one so does that make it cod, cauli and chorizo in cheese sauce? I’m not arguing with BBC Good Food where the original can be found.

Cooking cauliflower really takes me back to my distant not-so-long-ago childhood. It must have been the go to veg.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan)
  • Cut a small cauliflower into florets*
  • Roughly chop a chorizo**
  • Grate some gruyère
  • Chop a cod loin into bite sized pieces
  • Chop some parsley
  • Slice some spring onions
  • Boil the kettle
  • Get 25g butter, 500ml milk, 3 tbsp plain flour, breadcrumbs, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Pop the cauli in a pan and add the boiling water. Add salt and bring back to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes until al dente. Drain and leave to one side.

Heat a frying pan and cook the chorizo for a couple of minutes until starting to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon resisting the urge to eat it. Cover it to pretend it isn’t there.

Melt the butter in the pan with the chorizo oil then add the flour and stir to create a roux. Remove from the heat and pour the milk in gradually, whisking constantly to ensure there are no lumps.

Pop back on the (gently) heat and stir in the most of the gruyère. Season.

In individual dishes (if you can), divide up the cauli. Add the chorizo and the cod then add the spring onions.

Spoon over the cheese sauce. Mix the breadcrumbs and parsley together and sprinkle over the top. Add the remaining cheese.

Pop in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes.

Dish it up…

It’s in an individual dish so no extra effort needed but I have a large bag of frozen green beans so I served it with thise. Let it cool a bit, it’s hot as hell!


* in the spirit of Miranda – florets is a nice words isn’t it?

** yes I said a FULL chorizo


Baked Cauliflower Pizzaiola

On 16th, 17th & 18th June 2015, This was Dinner

Is it me or is cauliflower taking steps up the fashionable food ladder?

When Mr S asked what was for dinner tonight and I said ‘cauli pizzaiola’, he pulled a face. Once he’d eaten it, he apologised for his pre-dinner judgemental face as it was so good.


  • Cut a cauliflower into 8 wedges
  • Halve some cherry toms
  • Bash a few (unpeeled) garlic cloves
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Chop some parsley
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
  • Get breadcrumbs, mozzarella, dried oregano, chilli flakes, oil & seasoning ready


Brush wedges with oil and season. Place in an ovenproof dish and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the cherry tomatoes and the garlic cloves, season, throw in a glass of water and cook for another 25 minutes.

Tear up the mozzarella and dot over the cauliflower and tomatoes. Mix the parmesan with the breadcrumbs, parsley and a little seasoning and sprinkle over then cook for another 10 minutes.

We served ours with chapatis.

TWD_1606_Cauli_PizzaiolaThis is another BBC Good Food (June Edition) recipe.

On Thursday I had visitors. Charlotte came with Tilly the lab. As I already had Turkey Mole on the list, I thought she would enjoy this. I should have remembered to tone down the chilli though.


  • Season some turkey steaks
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Preheat the oven to 190ºc (fan)
  • Get chopped tomatoes, blanched almonds, raisins, plain chocolate, garlic, sesame seeds, chilli powder, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground coriander, ground cumin, oil & seasoning ready


Whizz up the tomatoes, almonds, raisins, chocolate, garlic, sesame seeds and spices in a blender.

Pop on the heat with the stock and some seasoning. Just leave on a gentle heat to cook through whilst you cook your turkey.

Heat some oil in a pan and cook the steaks for a couple of minutes each side.

Pop on a baking tray and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 7-8 minutes, ensuring they are cooked through.

Serve with rice and then pour over the sauce.

I didn’t take a photo.

I didn’t get anything out for dinner on Thursday so we went with good old chips, egg & beans. Sometimes, something like this right hits the spot.

Roast Cauliflower, Garlic & Fennel Soup

On 26th January 2015, This was Dinner

I bookmarked this soup such a long time ago. It can be found on the Guardian website and is actually a creation of Jack Monroe, originally a blogger famed for her ‘austerity’ recipes,

You can’t go wrong with this one, it’s a really filling recipe and the flavours are perfect. I doubled up to freeze some for another day.


  • Cut a cauliflower into florets
  • Preheat the oven to 190ºc (fan)
  • Cut some bread into pieces
  • Peel & dice a couple of pototoes
  • Bash a few garlic cloves
  • Peel & quarter an onion
  • Prepare some vegetable stock
  • Chop some parsley
  • Get fennel seeds, oil & seasoning ready


In a large roasting pan, pop the cauli, potato, onion and garlic cloves.

Drizzle well with oil then sprinkle on a small amount of fennel seeds. Don’t overdo it, you just want the flavour to be there as a hint.

Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes.

Take out the garlic cloves and transfer everything to a blender, squeeze the garlic in as well, removing the papery skins.

Add the stock and blend well, seasoning to taste.

When ready to serve, heat some more oil in a pan and quickly fry up the bread pieces for quick croutons. Serve with a little parsley.


Roast Cauliflower Pasta

On 19th January 2015, This was Dinner

We are more than half way through January already so why does it seem that it has both flown AND dragged? It’s flown because it is indeed more than half way through January and Christmas is but a distant memory AND it’s dragged because there are still 22 days – YES – 22 days – until our puppy comes home, I am going to visit him on Sunday though and I can’t wait for that either.

It’s hard to get inspired for new meals and I did think I was making yet another pasta bake with this BBC Good Food (January edition) recipe adaptation.


  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
  • Cut a cauliflower into small florets
  • Pick some thyme leaves
  • Roughly chop some hazelnuts
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Beat an egg
  • Chop some parsley
  • Get oil, pasta, fromage frais & seasoning ready


Toss the cauli in oil, thyme and seasoning. Pop on a baking tray and roast for about 20 minutes to soften and starting to caramelise.

Add the nuts and roast for another five minutes.

Cook the pasta, drain and reserve some of the water.

Add the cauli and nuts to the cooked pasta and then add the egg, fromage frais, most of the parsley and parmesan, season well and add a little of the water if required.

Stir gently, off the heat, and this will cook the egg through.

Serve with a sprinkle of parsley.


This is a really nice pasta dish, a nice alternative to a really heavy cheesy pasta bake. BBC Good Food use double cream but I had the fromage frais in already and I think it gave it a really fresh flavour.

The actual pasta itself is nice but I don’t think I’ll buy it again, I feel like I’m eating naked tinned alphabetti spaghetti.

Cauliflower Pasta Bake

ON 29th December 2014, This was Dinner

I was inspired to make this after seeing a this recipe for cauliflower cheese.


  • Slice a shallot
  • Toast some walnuts
  • Grate some mature cheddar
  • Cut up and blanch a cauliflower
  • Preaheat the oven to 190ºc (fan)
  • Get pasta, breadcrumbs, butter, milk, flour, bay leaves, mustard, oil and seasoning ready


Heat some butter in a small pan, add the breadcrumbs and stir, put to one side.

Cook the past until almost done and drain.

Cook the shallot until softened.

Heat some more butter in a pan and then add flour, stir well for a couple of minutes. Gradually add in the milk, stirring continuously on a gentle heat. Stir in a little mustard and most of the cheese along with some seasoning.

Mix the pasta, the cauliflower and the sauce together and tip into an ovenproof dish. Scatter over the breadcrumbs with the remaining cheese and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

TWD_2912_Cauli_Bake TWD_2912_Cauli_Bake2On 30th December 2014, This was dinner

We walked into town and just picked up some burgers today.

On 31st December 2014, This was dinner

Although we’d had nibbles at the in-laws before Christmas and at my Mum & Dad’s on Christmas Day, I still like to have my own. Along with a load of nibbles bought from Sainsburys I made these sausage rolls. This is the first year I had no mushroom vol-au-vents, a tradition, because my cases were no good (they’d been in the freezer too long!) and I couldn’t be bothered to do my own.


  • Remove the casing from some sausages
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Roll out some shop bought puff pastry into a rectangle
  • Beat an egg
  • Preheat th oven to 190ºc (fan)
  • Get some chutney (I used pear & apple), egg & seasoning ready


Mix the sausage meat with the cheddar and some seasoning. Roll into 2 ‘long sausages’ just under the size of each rectangle.

Gently heat the chutney and brush all over the pastry. Cut in half to make two long rectangles.

Place the sausage along one end of the rectangle and roll, seal the edges and brush with the egg. Cut into bite sized pieces and place on the baking tray then cook for about 25 minutes.


Cauliflower Fish Curry

On 17th October 2014, This was dinner

We were supposed to have fish sandwiches for dinner tonight. I have a bag of frozen fish in the freezer for when we just want a quick dinner but we were going to defrost, breadcrumb and fry. The fish wasn’t completely defrosted so we had a chicken burger instead. Nothing exciting.

On 18th October 2014, This was dinner

Obviously we still had the fish to use up so instead of making this Cauliflower and tomato curry we added the fish so it wouldn’t go to waste. I can’t say I eat a lot of cauli but it was my favourite veg when I was little.

Here’s what we did.


  • toast coriander, fennel & cumin seeds with chilli flakes then grind to a powder
  • roughly chop one onion and slice another
  • peel few garlic cloves
  • peel and roughly chop some ginger
  • roughly chop half a red chilli
  • chop up a cauliflower
  • slice up a red chilli
  • prepare some vegetable stock
  • get oil, turmeric, yellow mustard seeds, curry leaves, tamarind paste, passata, fish & seasoning ready


Pop the roughly chopped onion and half chilli along with the garlic and ginger into a processor and blitz to a paste.

Heat the oil in a large pan and pop the sliced onion and paste in and cook until golden. Add a little splash of water if it starts to burn. Add the spice powder, turmeric, curry leaves, mustard seeds and cook for a minute or two.

Add the tamarind paste and stir well then add the passata and stock and bring to the boil. Pop the cauliflower in, season and cook for about 20 minutes with the lid on.

Pop the fish on top and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on then leave the lid off to cook through, giving it a good stir.

We served ours with oven chips and naan breads.


Gammon with Quick Cauliflower Cheese

I have a weird relationship with gammon. I hated it when I was younger and although I like it now. That’s like, not love. it’s programmed in to me to not look forward to it. However, when I do have it I always enjoy it. It’s weird how the mind works.

To make this:

Remove the rind from the gammon and snip with scissors all the way around to stop it from curling at the edges.

Oil the gammon then brown it in a frying pan for a minute each side. Transfer to a baking tray and put in a preheated 180ºc (fan) oven for 5 minutes.

Chop a cauliflower and cover it with salted, boiling water, boil it for 5-7 minutes.

Whilst the cauli is boiling, gently fry a red onion.

Drain the cauliflower and add the red onion. Throw in some crème fraîche, loads of grated cheese and a good dollop of wholegrain mustard with some seasoning. Give it a good stir.

Drain any water from your gammon tray then pop the cauliflower cheese mix on top of the gammon. Sprinkle with more cheese and pop it in the oven (or under the grill) for a couple more minutes.

How I managed to transfer this to a plate without dropping any is a miracle.


I was so happy today as I had inspired someone at work to cook for his girlfriend. He’d made steak and chips and even arranged it beautifully on the plate. Well done Matt!

This was dinner… 26th September 2013.