Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cauliflower and Bacon Gratin

My Mom and Dad spent part of the Christmas Holiday in Jackson Hole Wyoming and shared the following story from their experience. I'm excited to try this for myself and also visit Q Roadhouse next time I'm out there!

No vacation is complete for my husband and me without the satisfaction of discovering yet another amazing restaurant. On a recent day trip from our cabin in Freedom, Wyoming up to Jackson Hole, we called our food blogger son, Matt, to ask him to research the top recommended restaurants there. The Snake River Grill was at the top of the list, but was only open for dinner and we were starving at 4:00.  Heading towards the Teton Village Ski Resort,  Q Roadhouse Restaurant caught our eye, so we decided to give it a try. Turns out, the chef there, Roger Freedman, opened Q Roadhouse in 2006 after having successfully lead the kitchen at The Snake River Grill to become one of the pre-eminent restaurants in the Rockies.  Chef Roger takes an average looking “roadhouse”  to culinary heights.

After snacking on roasted peanuts and tossing the shells on the floor at our waiters invitation, our appetizers arrived: The Snake River Farms Tacos al Pastor served up three generous tacos filled with a tender pulled pork, pineapple and spicy pickled vegetables and the piping hot jalepeno and corn hush puppies with a dipping sauce melted in our mouths. Then our entrees arrived, mine the Blackened Catfish with a shrimp/scallion sauce over creole rice with a side of black truffle creamed spinach, and Steve’s the apple and hickory smoked Baby Back Ribs served over a generous slab of  house-made bread with cauliflower gratin as a side. The nuances and out-right declarations of flavors in each bite attested to an experienced and fearless chef.

After returning home, I tried my hand at  a similar cauliflower gratin, this one adapted from Giada deLaurentis.

Cauliflower and Bacon Gratin

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup bread crumbs
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon flour
8 ounces bacon, cooked until crispy and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup grated Gruyere, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
Olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8 by 8-inch casserole dish.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly until all the butter has been absorbed and the bread crumbs are toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes.

In medium bowl, whisk together the cream and flour. Add the bacon and ½ cup of the Gruyere. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and toss with the cream mixture. Pour the cauliflower into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese and the bread crumbs.

Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown.  Serves 4 to 6.


  1. I rarely use cauliflower in my recipes (not too fond of its flavor) but that picture looks very tempting. I may have to give cauliflowers another chance ;)

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