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No Boil Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

 

I had to work late last night and so I needed to make something in the afternoon that the BF could take out of the fridge and plop in the oven when he got home and I could finish up quick when I got home. I took my inspiration form the oh so trendy Cauliflower mac and cheese and tweak up Januarys Bon Appétit recipe for No Boil Mac and Cheese to make a No Boil Cauliflower Man and Cheese.

 

½ head cauliflower cut into bite size piece

1 tsp salt

1 cup water

 

2 tbs butter, divided

2 tbs flour

1½ cups milk

½ cup reserved cauliflower water

1 cup water

½ tsp dry mustard

½ tsp paprika

Salt and pepper

 

½ pound elbow macaroni

1 cup shredded cheddar

 

 

1 garlic cloves, chopped

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tbs chopped parsley

¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese

 

 

Bring 1 cup water, 1 tsp salt and cauliflower to a boil in a covered sauce pan, cook until cauliflower is tender, 5-7 minutes. Drain cauliflower reserving ½ cup cooking water. Set aside.

 

Melt butter in the now empty saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in milk, water and reserved cauliflower water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, whisking often, until a very thin, glossy sauce forms, about 10 minutes. Whisk in dry mustard, paprika and then salt and pepper to taste. Remove sauce from heat.

 

Toss uncooked macaroni, cauliflower and cheddar cheese in a large bowl until combined, dump into a 9x9x2-inch baking dish. Pour sauce over mac cauli mixture and cover with foil sprayed with a little non stick cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place in fridge until ready to bake.

 

When ready to bake remove casserole from fridge and preheat oven to 400°.

When oven is heated place foil covered baking dish in oven and bake for 45 minutes.

 

While that’s happening melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic cook until fragrant, 30 seconds; add panko and sauté until brown stirring often, careful not to burn. Add parsley and toss to combine. Place panko mixture in a bowl, let cool, add remaining cheese and set aside.

 

After the 45 minutes remove Mac and cheese from oven, remove foil, sprinkle on reserved panko mixture, salt and pepper.

Place back in oven and bake for 10-20 minutes longer until edges are bubbling, and top is golden brown. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

 

This was quite good for a cold winter night. Love the crunchy panko top, love a veg snuck in the mix and was thrilled the macaroni was cooked all the way through. My only complaint was the cheddar I used was too mild and there was not enough of it. I would definitely make this again but with twice as much cheese and much stronger cheddar.