Four Cheese Mac and Cheese with deliciously seasoned roasted cauliflower. Creamy mild cheddar, Cooper Sharp American, Fontina, and a sharp Dubliner with Irish stout highlight this Mac and Cheese that is a hit with kids and adults alike!
I'm taking part in The Crazy Ingredient Challenge today for the first time in a year! Seriously, the last time I did was a year ago tomorrow with Blueberry Habenero Dipping Sauce. Then came a few months were I didn't have time to make something, followed by a few months were I couldn't think of what to make, or I didn't like either ingredient (we get to vote on two) so it was a no-go. But, Cauliflower and Cheese! I don't even consider that crazy at all, so I thought I would change up ordinary Mac and Cheese with cauliflower mixed in by roasting the cauliflower and using a Dubliner cheese with Irish Stout in it. Delicious! The only problem was I don't think I whisked long enough after adding the Dubliner to the milk for it to properly melt. Still good, just not as creamy as I would have liked. Truthfully, maybe that type of cheese won't melt to creamy, I'm not sure, I never tried melting it before.
I can tell you that one of the tricks to making perfectly creamy cheese sauce is to use fresh shredded cheese. The pre-shredded packages they sell in grocery stores contain starches and cellulose to prevent the cheese from caking, which in turn prevents proper melting. Another tip is to slowly add the shredded cheese to heated milk, while whisking constantly.
The rest of the recipes being shared today for the Crazy Ingredient Challenge Cauliflower and Cheese are shown below the recipe. If you are a food blogger and would like to join in just click on this button
and follow the simple directions. Now for the printable recipe:
Four Cheese Mac and Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower
- For the Roasted Cauliflower:
- 4 cups bite size cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- For the Mac and Cheese:
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni
- 4 ounces 2% milk Mild Yellow Cheddar ,shredded
- 4 ounces Cooper Sharp American ,shredded
- 4 ounces Dubliner Cheese with Irish Stout ,shredded
- 4 ounces Fontina cheese ,shredded
- 2 tablespoons reduced fat butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups 2% milk
- black pepper ,to taste
- chopped parsley ,for garish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the cauliflower florets on a large baking sheet, toss with the olive oil, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, start the water for the macaroni in a large pot, and prepare according to package direction. While the water is coming to a boil, begin to prepare the cheese sauce.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in the milk, whisking constantly, until the milk is steaming. Slowly add the shredded cheeses, a small handful at a time, whisking constantly, until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.
- Add the roasted cauliflower to the cooked pasta, pour in the cheese sauce and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes to absorb the sauce. Season with black pepper and garnish with parsley, if desired.