After talking yesterday about Mac & Cheese, I wanted to make a big batch and eat it all myself. But since I’m watching carbs so when I ditch the baggy winter sweaters, I don’t scare small children, I had to make the alternative last night for dinner. Versions of this are a longtime favorite as a substitute for potatoes and Mac and Cheese among the low-carbers, but it’s truly delicious on any dinner table. I used frozen cauliflower because it’s a good dollar value and nutritious, and I have a carload of it in the freezer. Once our own, frozen from last season’s garden is kaput, I load up with one pound bags from wherever it’s on sale to make our absolute favorite cauliflower casserole.
One thing to note here before we get to the recipe is that you need to be sure the cooked cauliflower is well drained; excess water will make a runny casserole. The easiest way to be sure there isn’t too much water in the florets is to microwave the cauliflower in a microwave safe covered casserole for the initial cooking.
Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole
2 1-lb bags of frozen cauliflower cooked until very soft and drained well, and still hot
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. hot sauce (I prefer
as it’s not vinegary) Cholula
¼ tsp fresh ground nutmeg
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and black pepper if needed
¼ cup grated parmesan
2T unsalted butter in bits
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray or oil a 3 quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Place the cream cheese in a deep bowl, and dump the hot cauliflower on top. Add the hot sauce and nutmeg. With a potato masher, or a stick blender, coarsely mash the cream cheese into the cauliflower until it’s about the consistency of mashed potatoes. Stir in the cheddar and taste the mixture for seasoning. Spread it in the oiled baking dish, top with the Parmesan, and dot with butter. Place in the oven and bake 45 -50 minutes until well browned on top and bubbling. Serves 6.