As I mentioned in my last post, I got a whole head of cauliflower, one of my not-so-favorite veggies, from Bountiful Baskets and was determined to make it taste good. Tonight I used the second half of the head in some righteous mac & cheese (to quote Chandler Bing). The cauliflower added a nice bite, but was otherwise unrecognizable (which is a good thing), except to my toddler who somehow had her cauliflower/broccoli radar on tonight and would spit-out every bite that had even the slightest smidgen of cauliflower in it. Of course, the noodles went down just fine because I'm pretty sure it's a requirement of kid-dom to like mac & cheese. Anyway, I may have to sacrifice the pleasant cauliflower bite and mash those puppies up more if I want to fool my masterful veggie detective (she loved the cauliflower mashers from the other night). If you have a picky toddler, you may want to do the same.
Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 box elbow macaroni
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
2 tsp. dried mustard
a tiny dash of nutmeg
salt and pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used a mix of white cheddar, sharp cheddar, and mild cheddar)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1. Preheat Oven to 400*
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add macaroni and set timer for for 6 minutes less than the package directs. After that time, add the cauliflower and cook for 6 more minutes.
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Add flour and whisk and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add milk and let it come to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once thickened, add mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
4. When the macaroni and cauliflower is finished, drain it, return it to pot (this would be a good time to mash up those cauliflower florets with a fork), and add the white sauce. Pour half of the mixture into a 9x9 casserole dish, sprinkle with half of the cheese, pour the rest of the cauliflower/macaroni into the pan, top with the rest of the cheese and sprinkle evenly with the panko.
5. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.