Cauliflower Au Gratin

Number of Servings: 8

2 – 3 Lb. cauliflower (1 Lg. head), cut into ½ inch florets
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 ½ C. milk
½ tsp. dry mustard
2 C. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. hot red pepper sauce
½ tsp. black pepper
20 Ritz crackers
2 Tbsp. bottled horseradish, drained
Sprinkle of paprika

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Cook cauliflower in a 5- to 6-quart pot of water until just tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Strain cauliflower and transfer to a buttered 2-quart baking dish. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a saucepan over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook over low heat, whisking, 3 minutes. Add milk in a slow stream, whisking and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat and simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese, mustard, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce, whisking until cheese is melted. Pour cheese sauce over cauliflower and stir gently to combine. Coarsely crumble crackers into a bowl. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and stir in horseradish. Pour over crumbs and toss to coat. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over cauliflower. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake until topping is golden brown, about 10 minutes.