Photo by Liz Dunn
I wanted to make a cauliflower/mac and cheese dish. I knew there were a few on Cookooree, and I've had a few. But Joanie's recipe (that I adapted) just didn't *sound* right. Dijon mustard!? No cream? Chicken broth? So I went online and read a ton of recipes, from Mark Bittman (food writer from the NYT), serious eats, CHOW, all that BS. So I decided to just trust Joanie's recipe, and although there are some variations, documented below, this was just straight up fantastic. Like, I had two more servings than I wanted to because it was too good. Wait should I say that?
- 2 small heads of cauliflower
- 1 package shell pasta
- 8 oz colby jack cheese, grated
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 8 tbsp butter
- 1 to 2 cups homemade bread crumbs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
Preheat oven to 400º.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, core the cauliflower and chop it into pieces. Add it to the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. Drain.
Add more salted water to the pot and return to a boil. Cook the macaroni for 5 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Drain and set aside.
Use a food processor to combine the cauliflower, cheese, mustard, salt, and pepper into a puree. Heat the chicken stock with half the butter using a microwave or stove. Add it to the food processor and process until smooth.
Combine the cauliflower-cheese mixture with the pasta. Transfer to a 9x13" baking dish. (for me, this made 2 casseroles, so get two casserole dishes out)
Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Combine the remaining butter with the bread crumbs and cook until golden brown, stirring often. Sprinkle it atop the macaroni. Then top with parmesan.
Bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
holy crap...i'm making this tonight with gluten free pasta and adding chicken b/c i have some leftover. yay!