Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving: Roasted Cauliflower Gratin

Macaroni and cheese is one of those quinessential holiday recipes.  However, when you are *trying* to be good and watch what you eat, mac & cheese is not on the 'nice' list....

Don't get me wrong--I LOVE macaroni and cheese--well any pasta and cheese in general, but it needed an upgrade to "somewhat healthy swimmming in cheezy goodness".  Lo and behold, The Shiksa came to my rescue!  I was looking through her archives, and I found a recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Gratin which looked easy and delicious, and guess what?  It is!!!

{Look at that bubbling, cheesy goodness!!!  The husband said it was terrible--teriibly good!  (He does that to me a lot--it's his thing.)}

This recipe is made with cauliflower which is MUCH healthier and nutritous than pasta; plus roasting it beforehand?  GENIUS!!!  Next time I have a craving for mac & cheese--this is definitely my go-to! 

{Roasted cauliflower!}

{Making roux to thicken the sauce}

{Getting saucy!}

{Mhmmmm....  CHEESE!!!!}

{Personal preference to add garlic powder, onion powder, mustard, and cayenne pepper--experiment for your own twist!}

{How do you like my one-handed shot?  Nice, huh?}

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin

Serves 4


3 pounds cauliflower florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk
2 cups cheddar cheese (or your choice)
3 tablspoons bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. In a bowl, put cauliflower and oil together; toss to coat.
  3. Spread on a baking sheet and place in oven for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, stir cauliflower with a spoon and return to oven for another 15 minutes.
  5. While the cauliflower roasts, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add flour and stir to combine.
  6. Cook this flour mixture (roux) for 2 minutes; add milk slowly stirring constantly until all the milk is added.
  7. DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM SAUCE! This sauce burns incredibly easy; keep stirring until it is thick.
  8. Add cheese and optional spices stirring until combined and melted.
  9. Adjust sauce seasoning with salt and pepper.
  10. When the cauliflower is out of the oven, reduce the heat to 375.
  11. Place cauliflower florets in a 9x9 casserole dish.
  12. Top cauliflower with cheese sauce.
  13. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top; place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese sauce is bubbling.
  14. Optional--if you have a broiler, turn it on and place gratin underneath it for 1-2 minutes for a more browned top.
Thanksgiving bonus--the dish can be made ahead, refrigerated, and then popped into the oven on Thanksgiving!  I would give it about 45 minutes to bubble, and make sure you put it in a cool oven or get it to room temperature before going into the oven.  We don't want to clean broken dishes!Pin It

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