Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

I guarantee you that you could serve this to 10 people who claim they don't like cauliflower, not tell them what it is, and at least 9 of them are going to love it.  If you're into watching your carbs, this is the PERFECT substitution for mashed potatoes.  A little high in fat, maybe, because of all the cheese.  But it's great.  We made it last night to eat with Fish Piccata and I'm eating the leftovers for breakfast as I type this up.  Good way to fool kids into eating their veggies too, if you happen to have that problem.

So how about a little smooth and creamy singing by Iggy Pop with "The Passenger".  (I dug all the clips from classic movies on this video.)  -jen

Prep Time:  25 minutes
Bake Time:  30 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy
Yields:  about 8 cups
  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste (and any other seasoning)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped (about 3 onions)
  • 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously coat a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. 

Cut cauliflower into medium-sized florets.  Steam until tender.  Times will vary, depending on the size of your florets, 5-15 minutes.  You should be able to slide a fork into it easily - "fork-tender".  Remove from heat.

Place cauliflower into food processor bowl (if you don't have a food processor, egg-beaters/hand mixer would probably work).  Add butter, milk, garlic and cayenne.  I added just a pinch of salt, a few cranks of fresh black pepper, and a pinch of Caldo de Pollo (seasoned Mexican chicken bouillon).  You can use whatever seasoning you want - thyme, rosemary, dill, seasoning salt.  Blend in the food processor until smooth and creamy.  At this point taste it to see if it's seasoned to where you want it, add more seasoning if necessary.  Then add the eggs and blend those in.

Stir in the green onion and cheeses with a spoon, leaving a little bit of cheese to sprinkle on top; don't use the food processor.  Pour into your greased pan.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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