Quickie Dinner: Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

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For whatever reason, this weekend I decided to buy a head of cauliflower.  What was I going to do with it?  I don’t know…it just somehow ended up in my little basket.

Today I was out of leftovers to microwave for dinner, so that meant I had to do something with the cauliflower.  I was thinking about just roasting it since it was easy, and tastes good.  But I can’t just eat a whole head of roasted cauliflower (and maybe a sweet potato) for dinner.  Then it dawned on me.  What about this cauliflower mac & cheese I’ve heard about?

A little internet searching and a couple of recipes later, I came across one on Serious Eats (great site….I could spend hours there, but I can never remember to check it out just cause).

The recipe is simple and requires a food processor.  I scanned the ingredient list and oddly enough, I had everything on hand.  Well, not everything.  I didn’t have any macaroni, but I did have a box of whole wheat penne.  Close enough!

So, here is the recipe for Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

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And here are my notes:

I used Gruyere as my hard cheese of choice.  I also didn’t have Parmesan, but did have grated Pecorino Romano.  It worked out.

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I used Panko Bread crumbs.  I found it added a nice light crunch without being too heavy like regular bread crumbs.

I cut my cauliflower into chunks, so it didn’t require 15 minutes to soften.  Keep an eye on it after 5 minutes.

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I didn’t need 2 cups of broth (I used unsalted chicken broth) at all.  I think I may have used maybe a cup…or a little less.

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I pureed the cauliflower mix until it was like a thick sauce.  It would mound well on a spoon, but can easily slide off when tilted. Kind of like thinned mashed potatoes.

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I cooked the pasta till al dente.

Once I poured the sauce over the pasta, I carefully mixed the pasta and sauce together a bit.  The recipe makes it sound like you just layer, but give it a good mix so the cheese and pasta can get to know each other a bit.

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I did not have a 9″ baking dish, so I used my 9″ pie plate.  It works!

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Overall, I thought the sauce by itself was delicious.  There are many possibilities with it that may not involve pasta.  But the dish all together was actually really good.  I paired it with a side that consisted of some frozen broccoli I defrosted by putting it in some water and bringing to a boil, drained, then tossed with the Pecorino Romano cheese and some sunflower seeds.

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While the cauliflower version of this mac & cheese is not as warm and cheesey as real mac & cheese, it’s still a pretty decent weekday meal that won’t necessarily break the weekday diet (because we all know weekends are free for all’s….right?).

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About chezsylvia

Engineer during normal working hours...photographer, baker, cook, runner, crossfitter and traveler the rest of the time.
This entry was posted in cheese, Dinner, Vegetable and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Quickie Dinner: Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

  1. I think pureeing cauliflower is one of the best ways to serve it up. Makes an awesome healthy substitute or additive to any cream or cheese sauce.

    Love the Serious Eats link. How did I not find out about this site till now!?! 😛

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