Deep-fried cauliflower cheese

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Sally Abé's Deep-fried cauliflower cheese recipe is a great way to use up leftovers, although with a crisp, golden breadcrumb coating and oozing béchamel filling they are more than worth the effort to make from scratch. Allow plenty of time for the cauliflower cheese to freeze as this will help the squares keep their shape as they fry.

First published in 2016




Cauliflower cheese

To fry

  • flour, for dusting
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g of Panko breadcrumbs (1)
  • oil, for deep frying

To serve


Break the cauliflower into small florets, discarding the stem and leaves
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the florets for 3 minutes until cooked through. Drain thoroughly and set to one side
For the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a medium pan and add the flour. Cook for 2 minutes until it forms a paste, then begin to add the milk a little at a time, whisking continuously to form a smooth, thick sauce

Stir through the mustard and add the cheese, mixing well until the cheese has melted into the sauce. Season with salt to taste

Add the cauliflower to the sauce and mix until fully incorporated, then tip into a tray lined with baking paper and place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until almost frozen solid
After this time, tip the frozen cauliflower cheese onto a chopping board and cut into 4cm squares
Preheat a deep-fryer to 180°C
Place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in separate small bowls. Dredge the cauliflower squares through flour, then coat in an egg wash and breadcrumbs
Fry the squares for 2–3 minutes, until crisp and golden brown
Arrange on a plate, sprinkle with salt and serve hot with tomato salsa on the side
First published in 2016

After a five-year stint in the kitchen at two Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury, Sally is now head chef at The Harwood Arms in London.

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