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.