Caul-i-flower Love ♫; or Low-Carb "Mac 'n Cheese"
Yes, like the Tupac song. We really do love cauliflower.
We also know this doesn't make us unique, since the carb chameleon has been making appearances in every diet since the internet's inception. But, when you spend every waking moment in a food obsession, you become ever-so-grateful to this veggie, which lets you replicate mac 'n cheese on a Monday, twice-baked mashed potatoes on a Tuesday and pizza on a Wednesday. Days of decadence with the carb bank untouched is a win in any conscious eaters book.
To clarify, carbs have their time and place, but when we're cooking and blogging and chasing dem snacks, the temporary break from simple carbohydrates does a body good. It keeps the waistline trim, energy level high and the excitement of diving right back into the real deal at its optimum peak.
This past sunny Sunday we shoveled down brat sandwiches for lunch and double cheese/pepperoni pizza for dinner (we ain't mad), so when Monday crept up on us, a radical craving for mac 'n cheese was ever-so-sadly out of the question. Unless of course...we pretend the USDA's daily serving suggestion for dairy doesn't exist and sub the "chameleon" for the carbs.
If that's not a compromise, we don't know what is. Into dairy delusion and decadence too? Here's how we whipped it together:
1 head of white cauliflower
1 tablespoon of butter
half bunch of green onion
*^(whites finely chopped - save greens for garnish)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 ounces cream cheese
1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated aged cheddar (sub: aged gruyere)
salt & fresh black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Set 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Salt the water.
Grease a baking dish large enough to fit the cauliflower.
As oven preheats and water boils, chop the cauliflower head into florets. Add florets to boiling water and cook for 5 minutes, until tender, but still slightly firm. Drain cauliflower and spread out onto a dish towel and pat dry.
In a small saucepan melt butter on medium heat and add the whites of the chopped green onions. As the onions become translucent, add garlic and stir for one minute until fragrant. Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Stir in the dijon mustard until smooth. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Slowly whisk in 3/4 cup sharp cheddar and 1/4 sharp cave aged cheddar until melted. Allow sauce to thicken for a few minutes until the back of a spoon is thickly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the drained and dried cauliflower into the baking dish and cover in the cheese sauce, shaking the dish so the sauce evenly distributes between the florets. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling. Finely chop the greens of the green onion and sprinkle as a garnish before serving.