Cheddar Bacon Cauliflower Casserole
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½ large head of cauliflower (orange or white)
4 strips thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon flour
¾ cup shredded extra sharp cheddar (use white cheddar if using orange cauliflower or orange cheddar cheese if using white cauliflower)
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, add ½ teaspoon salt.
Rinse cauliflower, remove green leaves and cut off the stalk. Cut into medium-sized pieces. Blanch cauliflower by cooking 2 minutes in boiling water, remove into bowl of cold ice water (to stop cooking), let sit 5-10 minutes then drain.
Cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel and chop coarsely; set aside.
Mix melted butter with panko until well combined; set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk lightly heavy cream and flour just until mixed. Add shredded cheddar cheese, chopped bacon, half the buttered breadcrumb mixture and salt and pepper. Add cauliflower and stir well. Turn into prepared dish and sprinkle with remaining breadcrumb mixture. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Remove cover and broil for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit 10-15 minutes before serving.
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