I'm not sure how the head of cauliflower got into my fridge. OK, the truth is it was on sale at the supermarket again and I feel like we need more vegetables in our diet in winter. Since we really enjoyed the Cauliflower Mac & Cheese I made last week I thought I'd made it again, with a few twists.
I had the day off yesterday so I was watching Ina. She was making mac & cheese with bacon and blue cheese, which I thought was a great idea. I cooked 6 slices of bacon in the toaster oven at 400 degrees until they were crispy. The cauliflower florest cooked in boiling salted water for 5 minutes and then I cooked half a box of cavatappi in the same water. Once they were cooked the pasta and cauliflower went into a large mixing bowl along with the bacon and some chopped parsley. I made a cheese sauce using butter, flour, 2 cups of milk, half a chopped onion, smoked paprika, 2 bay leaves, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and shredded cheddar cheese. The sauce was tossed with everything in the mixing bowl and then put into a buttered baking dish. I topped it with some panko and baked it for about 20 minutes.
The addition of the bacon was fantastic, although I can imagine bacon and blue cheese would be beyond rich. At least the cauliflower lets me believe mac & cheese can have some healthy qualities, although I know I'm deluding myself. That's the problem with winter - I want to eat hearty meals because it's so darn cold outside, but all the hearty meals end up being really unhealthy. I need to work on this.