Your Kids Will Love This "Brain" Food
Every family has it’s own traditions, especially where holiday food is concerned. Grandma’s secret stuffing recipe or Aunt So-and-so’s apple pie, how does she get the crust so perfect? But sometimes we just stumble across a new food tradition.
Before I tell you my story let me introduce myself, my name is Carrie and I’m addicted to recipes. Cookbooks....I love cookbooks! I own too many to count, several cabinets full plus two shelves on the book shelf. And in several languages. That doesn’t include the magazines. Anyone else? Waiting in line at the grocery store, I get bored, I read the magazines. I’ll buy a magazine for one recipe. At one point I had so many I couldn’t find what I needed so I decided I needed some organization. I started a binder for recipes I cut out of magazines and those given to me by friends. While clipping recipes I found one I just needed to try, immediately. Well maybe not immediately, but soon. I decided to add it to my Easter dinner menu and it was a bigger success than I could have hoped for. That is how “Brain” became a new family tradition ( I don’t remember what the original name was).
I have two kids, my Boy is adventurous and will try anything as long as it doesn’t have mushrooms in it, my Girl is so picky that for years she wouldn’t eat anything but chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and broccoli (go figure). She was on the fence about cauliflower so I wanted to find a way to prepare it that would intrigue her. And Hubby and I love cauliflower, so this “Brain” was getting made regardless. Over the years I have tweaked it so many times I’m not really sure what the original recipe was, I have since removed it from my binder to make room for other recipes and it’s so simple I make it from memory.
large head of cauliflower
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Trim and core the cauliflower but make sure it remains intact. Steam it whole, I love putting it in the steamer but mine died some time ago and Santa never brought me a new one, so I just use a metal steamer insert in the pan now. I can’t give you an exact time, it depends on the size of the head. You want to make sure it’s cooked through but is still firm enough to survive a transfer to a baking dish. Which surprisingly is step two, transfer it to a casserole dish or cookie sheet, whatever works for you. While it cools a little bit mix your mayo with the Dijon. Again, this is to taste, you need enough to cover the top of the head, a few tablespoons of each should do it. Not so thick it looks like an afro but thick enough to act as a glue. Top that with the bread crumbs, a simple dusting will do. Store bought works well as it’s very fine and dry but in a pinch I have used day old French bread. Stick it in the oven and bake only until the cheese starts to melt and the crumbs get toasty.Sprinkle about a cup of the cheese of your choice, I use a mild Chedder or Colby jack finely shredded. I’m not sure how Swiss cheese would work but it might pair well with the Dijon.
I love to serve it straight from the oven and cut it at the table. (Mostly because I love the look on guests faces when I ask if they would like some brain, but that’s just me I guess. Boy loves when I do that.) Girl loved it too, even though she refuses to call it Brain. In fact everyone seems to love it, which makes me wonder why we only eat it at Easter dinner. Oh, yeah, because it’s a tradition.