Cauliflower Comfort

5 Jun

As many low carb devotees will know, as you become more accustomed to this way of eating, cauliflower becomes your new best friend.  I too had previously tolerated cauliflower on sufferance, relegating it alongside the many other tasteless/mushy/disgusting school dinners I was made to eat when young.  But wait – tough times call for tough measures and I was persuaded to take another look at what this low carb wonder veg could do – and have been impressed!

Prior to following this diet, my favourite comfort food was a pasta bake with cheese sauce, with mushrooms onion and bacon.  I had hand crafted my recipe to perfection, taking particular pleasure in creating a crunchy topping with breadcrumbs, which broke open to reveal the creamy pasta and sauce inside.  This was my fail safe dish whenever I was low or as a sunday food when I had had a big weekend and even the mere thought of it cheered me up.

Since then, I have been ‘pasta free’ for over a year, and strangely (as a former carb addict) don’t miss the stuff that much anymore.  However, the cheesy comfort provided by that dish recently prompted a wave of nostalgia and I sought to create a similar comfort food type.  I have tried chicken/meat in a cheese sauce before now but it’s just not the same – especially as am not eating flour (and my liberal inclusion of that particular ingredient to make a rich sauce alongside loads of butter was another highlight of my pasta dish and, I suspect, reason to my prior weight gain!).  So, when needing food of comfort, I have been loving the fake mash potatoes pureed cauliflower stands in to provide and took this just a step further with my dish below.  Great as an accompaniment – but also on its own!

Cheesy fake-bake Potato

2 x cauliflowers (London supermarkets seem to only sell tiny ones, but one if the large variety is available near you!)

2  x Tablespoons cream cheese

1 x Tablespoon creme fraiche

Approx 2 x handfuls grated Cheddar cheese

Approx 2 x tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Chopped Ham / Cooked Bacon (I used 1 slice of bacon and 2 of ham, but this depends on your preference)

Salt and Pepper

Method:

1)  Remove leaves and stalks from the cauliflowers, cutting the remaining cauliflower into smallish chunks.

2)  Either boil or steam cauliflower until soft and tender.*

3)  Add to food processor along with the cream cheese and creme fraiche and blitz until smooth – use the sharp balde attchment for the food processor to ensure this is mashed properly.

4)  Once a smooth conistancy (be prepared to give it a fair bit of time – the dish honestly works better once you’ve eliminated all the lumps) add one handful of the grated cheese , plus salt and pepper to taste, and blitz again until all mixed in.

5)  Transfer cauliflower puree mix to (ideally Pyrex) dish and smooth out until surface is even. To this add your chopped ham/bacon/meat until covered.

6)  Over this, add the second handful of grated Cheedar, then the grated Parmesan to cover (this is what will crisp your topping to breadcrumb-eqe status!) over that.

7)  Pop under grill for around five minutes, or until top crispy and browned.

8)  Enjoy!

*  I have just discovered steamer bags for the microwave, which can be picked up in Poundland no less – best pound I have spent in a long while…  For ease of use, speed and most importantly eliminating the toxic cauliflower smell that made my flat smell like an old peoples home -I salute them!

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One Response to “Cauliflower Comfort”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Carb v Low Carb – a Salmon Supper « Low Carb Not No Carb - August 10, 2010

    […] Cauli-mash, using the recipe here, or even simpler – chop cauliflower florets and add to microwave steam bag.  Cook on high […]

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