- 3 pounds cauliflower, cut into large florets
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into large florets
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup bleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 5 cups milk
- 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence or
- Creole Seasoning
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Fill a large pot three-quarters full with water and add enough salt to make the water taste like sea water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower to a baking sheet and set aside to cool.
- Add the broccoli to the boiling water. Cook until crisp- tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the broccoli in a colander and transfer to the baking sheet with the cauliflower.
- Butter a 15 x 10-inch baking dish (or 2 smaller dishes) with 2 teaspoons of the butter. Arrange the cauliflower evenly in the dish, then arrange the broccoli on top.
- Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, until the roux is a blond color, about 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons salt and the cayenne. Gradually whisk in the milk and whisk constantly until the mixture boils and thickens, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the cheese until it melts.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and broccoli, and gently rap the dish on the countertop to remove any air bubbles.
- Combine the bread crumbs, Essence, and olive oil in a small bowl, mixing well. Spoon the mixture evenly over the top of the vegetables.
- Bake until crumbs are crisp and golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve hot.