Monday, March 25

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese you heard me right. On the same day I came across a mac & cheese Rachael Ray recipe that sounded yummy, I stumbled across a mac and cheese challenge at Please note I am not a sponsor of either just a lover of cheese.  So fate in the shape cheese is reaching out to me, I think. Yes that's the story I am going to repeat. Frankly, I just want to teach my three yr old how many cool ways there are to make mac and cheese besides the bright colored boxed, super processed, fake food colored cheese kind that you can buy from the store. Stepping off the soap box now.  You can probably guess (if you check out my other recipes) I am probably going to lean in the direction of healthier mac and cheese recipes, and you will probably be right. But please follow again. It will be fun. 

First One. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese. Source Rachael Ray Feb 2008 magazine page 109. Super simple. Super yummy. Basic cooks can handle this one easy. 

black pepper
1 head of cauliflower, rinsed, cut into florets (bite sized)
1/2 pound of whole wheat pasta
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup of flour, all purpose
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard 

1. Bring a large of pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt. Once it is boiling carefully add the cauliflower and cook it until its tender crisp, approx 5 minutes. 

2. Pull the veg out of the pot with a slotted spoon. Keep the heat and water in the pot boiling. Dunk the cauliflower into a bowl with ice and water to stop the cooking process. You aren't making mashed potatoes with cauliflower (although have done that and its super good). 

3. Start cooking the pasta in the boiling water, you just removed the veg from. Super easy. Super fast no waiting for water to boil twice. Check the instructions on your box of pasta and cook it until its al dente. Each brand has slightly different times. 

4. While the pasta is cooking melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Once the butter has fully melted stir in the flour. Cook the flour for a minute stirring or whisking the entire time. It should be a yellow clumpy mess - thats perfectly normal. You are cooking the flour taste out. You can't walk away from the stove during this part. 

5. Add the chicken broth and milk to the small pot. Stir every 20 seconds for about 4 minutes until its thickened. It gets thick fast you have to watch it. You will know if its thick enough if you dip a spoon into it and you can draw a line on the backside of the spoon and the line stays there. 

6. Turn off the heat on the small pot and stir the mustard, and the cheese into the thickened milk mixture. The cheese should melt almost immediately. 

we like all beef hot dogs with our mac & cheese
7. Once the pasta is done. Dump into a strainer and then return to the pot. Add the cauliflower. Toss with the cheese sauce, when the sauce is completed. Taste and savor the real cheese. Add salt and pepper if needed. 

Enjoy some grownup mac & cheese. The mustard really transforms this beyond the ordinary. 

Budget friendly. 
Family Friendly. 
From my kitchen to yours! 

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