Is there anything cauliflower can’t do? Seriously, if I were in the habit of writing odes to cruciferous vegetables, they would all be addressed to cauliflower.
Last night I tried out noodle-less cauliflower mac and cheese. I was afraid Colin would object to a dinner that was basically just vegetables and cheese, so I added a bit of chicken and a light dusting of bread crumbs. I had leeks to use up, so those went in too. Colin gave it the seal of approval. And I keep going to the fridge to nibble on leftovers.
- One large (or one-and-a-half small) heads of cauliflower
- Chicken or bacon, optional (I used two chicken thighs)
- The white and light green parts of two leeks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk (alternately, 2 cups half-and-half in place of milk and cream)
- 2 cups shredded cheese of your choice. I used 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup of a swiss-gruyere mixture from TJ’s.
- 2-3 tbsp. butter or oil
- Red pepper flakes, garlic powder, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350. If using meat, place it in a pan w/ oil and cook through. I used chicken thighs in coconut oil.
- Chop the cauliflower small. I tried to dice it, as much as one can dice cauliflower. The pieces were most 1/2″ or smaller in length. Place in a pot with a little water and steam, covered, until fork-tender.
- Chop leeks thinly. Remove the meat from the pan and add more butter or oil if necessary. Saute leeks with desired seasonings.
- When the leeks are soft, add cream and milk/half-and-half. Bring to a low simmer, then add cheese and stir until melted. Turn heat to low.
- Chop meat and add it to the cheese mixture.
- Drain the cauliflower well. Spread it in a baking dish, then pour over and stir in the cheese mixture. Taste test; you may want to add salt.
- Top with breadcrumbs and bake for 15-20 minutes.