Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cauliflower "Mac and Cheese"

With this new "low carb" initiative, I've been trying to find ways to make my normal food into more appropriate meals.  The thought of not eating mac and cheese anymore was almost unbearable!  I've been subbing cauliflower for starchy foods like mashed potatoes, so I thought it might work as a substitute for pasta as well.  AND IT DID!  I didn't use a recipe, I just threw stuff together, so here's my rough guesses of what I did.  Please let me know if you try it and if I should make adjustments:

Steam 1 head of cauliflower (cut into bite size pieces) until it's fork tender (don't over cook, or it won't hold it's shape when you toss with the cheese sauce, and then you'll just have cheesy cauliflower mush!...that would still taste good, just not what we're going for here)  Drain the cauliflower and make sure all excess water is gone, or your sauce will be runny.

Cheese Sauce:
2 T butter
2 T flour (I know it's not primal, but I guess I'll live!)
2 C milk
1/4 t ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 C shredded cheese (I just used what I had on hand, some smoked mozzarella, colby jack and provolone)  You may need more cheese, just add as needed until your sauce is the right consistency.
Extra cheese to sprinkle on top

In saucepan melt butter.  Once butter stops bubbling, add flour.  Whisk together and let cook for 1 minute.  Add milk and stir to combine.  Let cook until mixture begins to thicken.  Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Once incorporated, add shredded cheese and cook until melted and smooth.  Mix steamed cauliflower in with cheese sauce and coat liberally (no skimping on cheese sauce!).  Pour into baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.  Bake in 350 oven for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted.  Then set oven on broiler and bake until cheese is golden brown.  

Next time I make this, I'm going to experiment with adding other ingredients like bacon or ham.  I felt like I was missing some protein, but I guess I could make this a side dish instead of main dish!  Enjoy!

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