Fun fact: when I was a kiddo, I couldn't stand the sight of mac 'n cheese. I have no earthly idea as to why I felt so strongly against the pasta dish, but now as an adult, I regret those harsh emotions. There isn't any shame in my game to say that I love mac 'n cheese EVEN with a dairy sensitivity.
My cauliflower mac 'n cheese has too become a staple within my side-dish rolodex. The recipe is a spin from Ree Drummond's version - truth bomb: I have tried and tried her recipe over and over again but the sauce kept breaking, meaning it was far too thin and watery. Over many cauliflower mac 'n cheese attempts, I think I have cracked the code and tweaked the ingredients to suit my hankering.
You can put this entire casserole together for under $10.00, and it serves 4-5. We like to dish it up alongside a grilled steak or pork chops and sautéed green beans. Yum!
Here's what you'll need:
1 cauliflower cut into small florets
2-3 tbsp butter
1 or 2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you fancy, really!)
2 tsp ground mustard
A few dashes of hot sauce - I like the garlic cayenne flavor from Tabasco
Parmesan cheese for topping
Salt and pepper
1) Cut your cauliflower into bitesized florets. Preheat your oven to 375F.
2) Then, melt some butter over medium-high heat into a deep saucepan. Don't be shy with the butter, friends!
3) I added about 2-3 tbsps into the melted butter and whisked vicariously until the flower was dissolved. Let the mixture cook for 1 minute.
4) Pour your milk into the sauce pan and whisk. You'll have to eyeball the amount, sorry I'm so bad at measuring but I did try to estimate an exact amount at least! Babysit the saucepan or else you will burn everything, ha. Keep slowly whisking and soon enough, the sauce will come together and thicken up nicely.
5) Add your ground mustard, salt and pepper. Combine.
6) Then your hot sauce!
7) Your sauce should be beautifully thick by now, so remove from the heat and add in your cheese. Again, whisk to combine.
Can I go swimming in this cheese sauce? Asking for a friend.
8) Nowwwww, toss your cauliflower into the cheese mixture and make sure every little morsel is covered in the sauce. Ree boils her cauliflower first, I do not.
9) Pour everything into a greased baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese.
10) Bake for 40-45 minutes and THIS is the result. I am drooling all over again.
In all honesty, I just don't miss the pasta. Crazy, right? But you'll see what I mean when you whip this cauliflower version together. Enjoy!