Ham and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese - ButterYum
Welcome to my first submission to the Crazy Cooking Challenge hosted by Tina from Mom's Crazy Cooking.
- What is it? A monthly blog hop.
- This month's challenge? Search blogs for macaroni and cheese recipes, chose one, make it, and blog about it.
- The purpose? To highlight other blogs and have fun meeting new bloggers along the way.
- How can you participate? Visit the links below and vote for your favorite!
So, who likes homemade Mac and Cheese? More like who doesn't, right? I know, I love it. Especially when it includes meat and veggies because that means I only have to make one dish for dinner. As far as I'm concerned, that makes this the ultimate mac and cheese.
Okay, so I started with a recipe for cauliflower mac and cheese that I found on a wonderful blog called Chocolate and Carrots by Caroline - the recipe is one Caroline adapted from another blog. I adapted it yet again to accommodate my family's preferences and it was a hit with everyone, even my picky teen who doesn't like anything I cook. Maybe you'll give it a try and make a few adaptations of your own. Enjoy!
Ham and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
makes one 9x13 casserole
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped (cooked in salted water until tender)
- 1 pound elbow macaroni (cooked in salted water until al dente)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups milk, plus 1/2 cup morefor pureeing cauliflower
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (7 ounces)
- 12 ounces cooked diced ham
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder (or 1 teaspoon prepared mustard)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Butter a 9x13 casserole pan; set aside.
- Puree cooked cauliflower and 1/2 cup milk in a food processor until smooth; set aside.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over med-hi heat.
- Add flour and whisk to combine; continue cooking while stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.
- Add 4 cups milk, mustard, salt and pepper; boil for 2 full minutes or until thick; whisking constantly.
- Turn off heat and whisk in cauliflower puree and cheddar cheese until smooth.
- Fold in cooked pasta and diced ham; pour into prepared casserole dish.
- Sprinkle top evenly with bread crumbs and dot with 2 tablespoons cubed butter.
- Bake uncovered for 1 hour until hot and bubbly.
- If needed, place under broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown.
- Rest for 10 minutes before serving (will be soft).
Note: to cut square servings as shown, allow to cool for at least an hour.