- 400 gm cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 3 rashers streaky bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
- 200 ml milk
- 60 gm butter, diced
- 90 gm plain flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 120 gm vintage cheddar, coarsely grated, plus extra, finely grated, to serve
- 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
- 1 tsp smoked paprika, plus extra to serve
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve
- 1Preheat oven to 200C. Toss cauliflower with oil and thyme, season to taste and roast, turning occasionally, until golden (35-45 minutes). Cool.
- 2Fry bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until crisp (4-5 minutes). Drain on paper towels.
- 3Combine milk, butter and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk in flour and stir until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan (1-2 minutes). Cool for 5 minutes, then add eggs one at a time, beating well to combine between additions. Cover directly with plastic wrap and cool completely, then stir in cauliflower, bacon, cheese, chives and paprika.
- 4Heat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 170C, then deep-fry heaped tablespoonfuls of mixture, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (4-5 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on paper towels, then transfer to a serving platter. Scatter with extra cheese, lemon rind, paprika and sea salt and serve with lemon wedges.
Drink Suggestion: Wine suggestion Yeasty dry sparkling chardonnay. Drink suggestion by Max Allen