Say cheese and not just at Christmas

Vintage Cauliflower Mac Cheese
Vintage Cauliflower Mac Cheese
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At this time of year, cheese tends to take on a starring role as part of our traditionally over the top Christmas dinner.

But after dinner, with crackers and chutney, isn’t the only way to enjoy your favourite whiffy wonders; cheese can be a star ingredient in meals too. Here’s one great winter-warmer courtesy of the British Cheese Board...

VINTAGE CAULIFLOWER MAC CHEESE

(Serves 4)

300g dried macaroni

1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets

25g butter

40g plain flour

450ml semi- skimmed milk

1tsp wholegrain mustard

100g vintage (or mature) Cheddar cheese, grated

Freshly ground black pepper

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of gently boiling water for five minutes, then add the cauliflower. Cook for five to six more minutes, until the pasta and cauliflower are tender.

Meanwhile, make the easy all-in-one cheese sauce. Put the butter, flour and milk into a non-stick saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly with a small whisk until thickened and smooth. This is the best way to make a smooth, lump-free sauce.

Remove the sauce from the heat and add the mustard and half the cheese, stirring it in until melted and smooth. Season to taste.

Preheat a medium-hot grill. Warm a large baking dish underneath it.

Drain the cooked pasta and cauliflower thoroughly. Tip them into the baking dish and pour the hot cheese sauce on top. Arrange the cherry tomatoes over the surface and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Grill for five to six minutes until golden brown, then serve.