Cowart's Common Room

The debate over whether you might put sultanas in Cauliflower Cheese (along with eggs, tomatoes, pasta etc) seems to be continuing. One or two brave and adventurous souls are with me on the side of the sultanas (and we're not making a pudding here - we are only talking of a small sprinkle) but most of you are solidly and conventionally and unenterprisingly and disappointingly set against such novelties and accuse me of all manner of misdemeanors from re-inventing dog muesli to madness.

Tomatoes and sultanas may constitute the culinary equivalent of a minor chord - even a discord - but not a cacophony and where would Mozart operas be without discords?

So it's time for the braver souls to stand up and take to the barricades in defence of free cookery. Cooks of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your recipes.

Posted at 10th Mar 2012 - 09:53AM   Posted by Fennie   Sultanas Comments: 14

Fairy Nuff's Avatar Laughing I still don't like sultanas very much...they have ideas above their station...give me a raisin anyday!

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 10th Mar 2012 at 10:01AM

Westerwitch's Avatar I would happily put sultanas in - although HS would hate it - but I wouldn't put tomatoes in Blink

Posted by: Westerwitch on 10th Mar 2012 at 10:08AM

Fennie's Avatar Raisins are little hard black beetley things, FN, best confined to toasted teacakes.

And WW why not put the sultanas in at one end (for you) and the tomatoes at the other (for HS)Very HappyVery Happy (Not a lot of tomatoes or sultanas and the tomatoes are anyway decoration.

Posted by: Fennie on 10th Mar 2012 at 11:17AM

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar No to sultanas (or raisins, for that matter) but I do put tomatoes on the top and sometimes pasta in for a more substantial meal. Other vegetables especially leftovers or bits of ham, bacon or chicken are nice.

I don't like to mix my puddings with my dinner and I don't think sweetness with the strong taste of the cauliflower is right.

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 10th Mar 2012 at 11:48AM

Ivy's Avatar I can imagine tomatoes and sultanas going well together but not in a concoction with cauliflower and cheese! But I am never to find out until OH kicks the bucket or runs off with some handsome young secretary... He simply despises anything containing raisins/sultanas etc...

Posted by: Ivy on 10th Mar 2012 at 02:06PM

Milla's Avatar fear twas me who can claim both madness and dog food remarks and proudly I stand by both. Time has only convinced me that you have gone bonkers, Fennie, not that there is anything wrong with that but I won't be coming for supper. Really, could 3 more disparate items be plumped together in the name of edible fare? I think not. Mind you, am squeamish about tomatoes, have to be hard and greenish and cut thin and not cooked and the squidge of sultanas turns my stomach so the comb was never going to be a goer for me.

Posted by: Milla on 10th Mar 2012 at 03:21PM

Camilla's Avatar Love sultana's Fennie but they don't seem to agree with me, headaches but then there is a lot of food I can't eat because of this, including banana's, kiwi fruits, and cranberry juice.

My children loathe tomatoes too Milla, salad is usually made up without them but toms are put into a separate dish if they come for summer BBQ's.

Posted by: Camilla on 10th Mar 2012 at 05:28PM

Fennie's Avatar I'd love to get you all around a table. I would respect your dietary wishes, I would, I really would. I can make excellent omelettes and would have become 3rd champion mushroom omelette make of France if Rosie & Co hadn't been so impatient that day at Prunet. Think where I'd be now! Might even have had my own restaurant and serving 'Le Plat du Jour: Choufleur Fromage aux Raisins Doux.' Very HappyVery Happy

Posted by: Fennie on 10th Mar 2012 at 06:14PM

Mountainear's Avatar I am adventurous re food I think - it's just that sometimes a thing is better for its simplicity and gains nought by adding miscellaneous extras. Chefs are the very devils for doing this in the name of progress of adventurous wittiness. Good/ the best fresh ingredients cooked to perfection and seasoned likewise.

Is your cauliflower cheese dish your own invention? Or has is trickled down through the family and has it a mysterious past? I think a lot of things we eat and cook started out as a proper recipe and have over the years, with the cook's laissez faire and the ingredients to hand had morphed into something in their own right. Way back in the 70s in the days when most people had a jar of Heinz Salad cream on the table my sister in law always splashed malt vinegar on her lettuce. I realise now that, instead of it being a curious North Oxfordshire trait, it was probably a vestige of French dressing - olive oil being as yet unheard of and lard being not very helpful in the splashing on department.

Any more gems from the Fennie family cookbook?

Posted by: Mountainear on 10th Mar 2012 at 06:21PM

Mountainear's Avatar Fennie, Our posts have crossed. I would love to join you at table and await the opportunity!

Posted by: Mountainear on 10th Mar 2012 at 06:23PM

Milla's Avatar I would baulk at calling myself fussy over food but there are limits.
Fennie needs to read - or perhaps has read - 2 marvellous books, each featuring similar GodAwful fare as this:
The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson
Sublime books both and exploring similar bizarre ends of the catering scale.

Posted by: Milla on 10th Mar 2012 at 06:58PM

KitKatCot's Avatar No Sultanas for me please. I love Cauliflower cheese just as it comes, maybe a touch of mustard in the sauce, and the cheese must be Cheddar.

This reminds me of a friend of ours who (this will be 30 years ago) who was telling us in detail about a new (posh) restaurant he had been to. As the details of the menu went on I started to lose the will to live. The highlight had apparently been that they served cauliflower in a 'Cheese Sauce'. We both tried to look suitably impressed. Then on the way home Himself said 'didn't we have that for dinner last week?' I was obviously ahead of my time in the kitchen. Maybe I should have opened a (posh) restaurantShocked

Posted by: KitKatCot on 10th Mar 2012 at 07:11PM

Ivy's Avatar KitKatCot how old are you?
Cauliflower cheese is one of the recipes my mother imported from her stay as an au-pair in England nearly 50 years ago!Shocked Have I met the creator of my childhood most loathed vegetable dish? (even worse than spinach and asparagus!)Exclamation I do make it myself occasionally now I am grown up but I hated it as a child.

Posted by: Ivy on 10th Mar 2012 at 09:57PM

Fennie's Avatar I love this debate which is reminiscent of angels dancing on pins or the precise nature of the Trinity. We could certainly make a wonderful luncheon party (forgive the ...eon, but it seemed to come after mention of the Trinity) with much to inebriate our minds. Yes, it would be great to invite you all and maybe we could sit outside and have one of those lunches that begin with aperitifs at 12 and end about five hours later. And I promise no sultanas. Even some of you would be good. I'm sure we'd have a great time. I'd have to invent a new recipe - how about Green Duck soup? A clear soup, coloured with watercress and with thin strands of duck and mushroom? With sultanas as a side dish to be eaten or thrown as the mood takes.

Posted by: Fennie on 11th Mar 2012 at 10:36AM

Please login to comment

Sorry you must be logged in to post a comment