Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Creamy Cauliflower Mac

Each time our CSA pick-up includes cauliflower, I have to listen to the story about my husband sitting at the table until he finished his cauliflower and how it ruined his ability to EVER eat it again.  When I mentioned I found a recipe for mac and cheese in Runner's World, he was interested.  When I named the ingredients, he became apprehensive.  When he ate it, he was sold!  Honestly, I thought the cauliflower sauce was as good as mashed potatoes and fed some of the leftovers to the baby.

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cauliflower, cored and cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 8 oz whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko because it was on-hand, but next time I will use whole grain) 
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 9 baking dish.
  2. Boil a pot of salted water.  Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 25 minutes.  (To save using another pot, I removed the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and used the water to boil my pasta). Move cauliflower to blender or food processor.
  3. In a saucepan, warm stock and bay leaves on medium-low heat for 5 minutes; turn off heat.
  4. Boil pasta 5 minutes.  Drain. Place in greased baking dish.
  5. Blend cauliflower with stock (remove bay leaves), cheese, oil, mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Pour over pasta.  Toss and spread in dish.
  6. Top with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes.
No elbow macaroni in pantry-rotini were just as good
Difficulty: Medium
Time: about an hour
Source: Mark Bittman contributing to Runner's World, March 2011

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