Not Mac n' Cheese
This recipe is a bit of an odd one for me, in that it appears to embody some level of growth on my part. The inception of the idea came from a request for more "kid friendly" recipes. As a big kid myself, I LOVE macaroni and cheese. I assume most ALL kids do!
This is not Macaroni and Cheese.
My plan had been to use Dreamfield's Pasta when I decided to add a Mac 'n Cheese recipe to my website. However, I'm fresh off of reading "Wheat Belly" and currently of the mindset that pretty much anything "wheat" is bad and evil. Don't get me wrong, I'll probably regress at some point, but, as of this writing, I'm trying to steer clear of grains (tasty, tasty grains).
So, this recipe is Mac n' Cheese, but ... with cauliflower nibblets, instead!
Truth be told, when all is said and done, and I had a big plate of this sitting in front of me... it was delicious! I didn't mind giving up the pasta, one iota!
Pasta Note: If you wanted to use Pasta, you absolutely could. To use pasta, you would pre-cook the pasta, but cook it about half as long as it states on the box. It will continue to cook, as it's baked.
Smoky Note: I'm a big fan of smoky flavors, but recognize not everyone is. I suggest two smoked cheeses in the ingredients. Smoked cheeses are optional. Substitute one, or both, with un-smoked cheeses and the end result will STILL be tasty!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 8 Servings
- 1 head large cauliflower stem/leaves removed and cut into small florets
- 1/2 cup cream heavy whipping
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 4 each garlic clove minced
- 8 ounces regular cream cheese (not low-fat) softened
- 1 1/2 cups smoked cheddar cheese grated and divided
- 1 cups smoked provolone cheese grated
- 2 tbsp hazelnut flour
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Place a large pot full of water on the stove to boil.
Pre-heat your oven to 425 F.
Once your water is boiling, add a healthy amount of salt to the water.
Add your cauliflower florets to the water and simmer for about 3 minutes.
Strain the cauliflower, so that all the water is removed. Set aside.
Add your cream, mustard and garlic to a large sauce pan, over low heat.
Once it begins to simmer, whisk in your cream cheese. This will cool it down and stop it from simmering.
Let it come back up to a simmer. While it does, set aside 1/2 of a cup of your cheddar cheese.
Once the mixture is simmering, whisk the remaining 1 cup of cheddar and provolone into your hot cream cheese mixture. Taste, then adjust with a little salt and pepper.
Once the cheese is melted and a nice thick sauce has been created, add your cauliflower to the pan and mix, so that it is very well coated (this is the step where you would add your half cooked pasta).
Once the cauliflower is evenly coated with the cheese sauce, pour it into a greased baking pan. I used a 9 inch round ceramic pie pan, but a 9x13 casserole pan will work, as well. All we're really doing is browning the top. It's all already mostly cooked, at this point.
Dust the top of the cauliflower with the hazelnut flour and reserved cheddar cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is nice and toasty brown.
Serving: 8g | Calories: 330.4225kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.095g | Protein: 13.805g | Fat: 27.59g | Fiber: 2.8875g