Cheesy Hackney solution to the freezy weeks

Ridleylogoc EVERY WEEK I take £5 to Ridley Road Market in Dalston, Hackney, London E8 2LH, to spend on seasonal food. On Friday I tell you what I have chosen and publish a seasonal recipe.

As usual, expenditure on any extra ingredients, eg, a pineapple, will be recouped by usage over subsequent weeks. Some of the recipes will be frugal.

They will all be tasty. All will be vegetarian.

NB: this website uses metric measures but a few Ridley Road traders cheekily sell in imperial, some in metric and some also by the bowl. 

The items I used from this week’s basket and the equipment I used
The vegetable I used from this week’s basket and some of the equipment I used

This week’s £5 basket

Bowl cauliflowers (2) £1

Bowl beetroots  (11, weighing about 1,750g) £1

Bowl potatoes (13: 1,700g) £1

Bunch of leeks (6) £1

Cabbage 80p

Total £4.80

Equipment: kitchen knife, lidded saucepan, grater, baking dish, colander, wooden spoon. Wash/scrub all vegetables

Recipe: cauliflower cheese. Preparation 12min, cooking 25/35min. Serves 2. 

Ingredients: half a cauliflower, cut into small florets; 1 egg, beaten; tablespoon of butter; tablespoon plain flour; 250cc milk; teaspoon mustard powder; 70g strong cheddar cheese, grated; salt and pepper — optional

Method: Set oven to 200C. Cover the base of the saucepan with about 3cm water and bring to the boil. Add the cauliflower and cook/steam for 10 to 12minutes, depending on size of the florets.  They should keep their shape and have a slight crunch. 

The cauliflower cheese ready to be dished up

Strain and put in a baking dish and leave to one side, letting all the steam to evaporate, which prevents the finished dish being a little watery when taken from the oven. 

Wash saucepan. Put the butter in the saucepan and melt over a gentle heat. Remove saucepan from the heat, add the flour and mix to a smooth paste. Return to heat and slowly add the milk, mixing continuously to prevent lumps’ forming. 

Stir until the mixture forms a covering to the back of the spoon — about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese, the beaten egg and the mustard powder and seasoning if used, then mix/beat together well. 

Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and place in a hot oven for 10 minutes until slightly brown on top. If using two saucepans, you can make the sauce while the cauliflower cook. This saves about 10 minutes overall. 

I am serving this dish with roasted beetroots and mashed potatoes.

With the other vegetables in my basket I shall make pickled beetroot to have as a side salad dish. The leeks will make a delicious leek-and-potato soup, the cabbage will be cooked with caraway seeds and apple. Ill make a vegetable mornay with mustard mashed potatoes and a cabbage-and-cauliflower centre. Apart from the beetroot, all the other vegetables could make a base for a winter curry.

Tip: use a ceramic knife or tear your washed lettuce to prevent the edges’ going brown.

Bubble and squeak Shooey style, 14 September 2012
The basket 14 September last year

* Previous articles hyperlinked:

A Hackney frittata 11 January 2013  

Tasty and easy Christmas snack 21 December 2012

The shops behind the market stalls 9 November 2012

Chutney 2 November 2012 

Piccalilli 26 October 2012

Golden soup 19 October 2012

Roasted, stuffed squash 12 October 2012

Vegetable curry 5 October 2012

Carrot and coriander soup 28 September 2012

Turkish spinach pie 31 Aug 2012
Turkish spinach pie 31 Aug 2012

Ratatouille Gypsy stew 21 September 2012

Bubble and squeak Shooey styleBakewell pudding 14 September 2012

Coleslaw and radishes 7 September 2012

Turkish spinach pie 31 August 2012;

Tomato tart, marinated aubergines, fresh mango chutney 24 August 2012;

Roasted butternut squash soup and beetroot salad 17 August 17 2012;

A dish to make from a fiver in the market: the column launched 15 August 2012


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