Cauliflower and Cheese

Ingredients: 1 Cauliflower Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 cups whole milk 2 cloves 1 small onion, peeled and chopped 1 bay leaf 5 tablespoons of butter 1/3 cup (scant) all-purpose flour 1 & 2/3 cups grated firm cheese, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top A little freshly grated nutmeg Directions: Remove the greens from the Cauliflower and break the curds into roughly even size florets. Add the florets to a pan of boiling salted water and boil until almost tender (remember they will continue to cook in the sauce in the oven) drain and carefully lay out on a folded dish towel: cooking water will exude for quite some minutes after draining. Preheat oven to 375° F. Put the milk, cloves, onion, and bay leaf in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for a minute or two, then cover and leave to infuse off the heat for 10 minutes or so. In another pan, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, over low heat for a few minutes, then remove from the heat and strain in the hot milk all at once. Whisk together vigorously until well amalgamated. Now, using a wooden spoon, stir continuously until the sauce begins to thicken and become very smooth. Leave to cook for another 10 minutes over the merest heat: one of those heat diffuser mats employed here would be a good idea. Add the cheese and stir until it has fully melted into the sauce. Season with pepper and nutmeg and taste for salt. Place the Cauliflower in an ovenproof dish that will accommodate fit snugly. Carefully pour the sauce over so that it fully coats each floret and sprinkle with extra cheese. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the surface is well blistered and the sauce is bubbling nicely around the edges.