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Verbena Mon, Jan-08-18 22:28

Macaroni & Cheese - without macaroni
A bit of back story - My mother made a really good baked macaroni & cheese. Comfort food for a family of cheese lovers. Some 40-odd years ago I met the man whom I would eventually marry; a great guy in many respects, well worth marrying (and it has lasted these 40-odd years), but ... he doesn't like cheese ... never has, never will. For many years I would periodically make a big batch of macaroni & cheese for me, and what we fondly call macaroni without cheese for him, a macaroni casserole with veggies, held together with an egg/milk custard. Awhile ago he went off on his own for a couple of weeks (an art workshop, which didn't interest me), and said, laughing, that I could have as much macaroni & cheese as I wanted while he was away. When I reminded him that I don't eat macaroni anymore he blithely said "well, if you can make macaroni & cheese without cheese, surely you can make it without macaroni". A bit of internet research showed that, indeed, I could.
I based it on the following recipe, but left the cauliflower florets whole (but small), and made sure they weren't too soft. I have used various cheeses; this evening I added in some herbed Boursin which was in the fridge. Cream cheese of some sort seems to be necessary for the creamy aspect. Bacon is good, but this evening I tossed in some slices of Andouille sausage instead. I didn't this evening, but some buttered nut crumbs scattered over the top would add a nice crunch. I find this hits all the right notes for this particular macaroni & cheese lover.
This reheats nicely. I usually make enough of this (and the cheeseless macaroni) to last us for a couple of dinners, and then we are good for another 6 months or so. But sometimes I just want something creamy & cheesy, and this hits the spot.

pollyanna1 Tue, Jan-09-18 20:45

Being a single person (for now), I make a large dish of this and freeze individual portions.

But defrosted portions are soggy UNLESS cauliflower was prepared as follows: Cook florets, drain, put in dehydrator for three hours on 135F degrees, place in food processor and produce macaroni-sized pieces. Then proceed with the recipe.

Cauliflower holds a lot of water, but this takes care of the problem.

I use a large lasagna pan (13 x 9 inches).

Verbena Tue, Jan-09-18 22:18

Good idea about the dehydrator, Pollyanna. It does tend to lose a lot of liquid if not drained very thoroughly.

bluej Wed, Jan-10-18 08:28

Thanks for the link for mac and cheese, just what I feel like this week sometime :)
there's lots of delicious looking bakes on that site - I've bookmarked it, thanks again

cincin11 Sat, Jan-20-18 09:56

This sounds good. I found this website and never knew you could microwave cauliflower, This way there isn't water in the cauliflower from boiling.

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