Merry Christmas! I know everyone is getting ready for the holiday, buying presents and lots of food, thinking, “What can I fix that will be easy and different?”
Well, this dish will go with anything you serve. I made it a couple weeks ago and it is a dish you can fix the night before and put in the oven the next day. It’s delicious! I can eat the sauce by itself. I can’t say enough about the sauce — so creamy, and it can be used on other dishes like broccoli or potatoes. You could even pour it over noodles. Plus, it has bacon!
Here’s the recipe.
Loaded cauliflower bake
• 2 small heads of cauliflower
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
• 2 cups whole milk
• 2 ounces cream cheese (I added a little more than that — it was by accident, but I think it needed it. Haha!)
• 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
• kosher salt
• fresh ground pepper
• 6 slices of bacon (I added 10 slices because I love bacon)
• 1/4 cup sliced green onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch cauliflower for minutes. Pour and squeeze cauliflower of water. Make cheese sauce in a large skillet: Melt butter, add garlic and cook until fragrant for one minute, then add flour and stir until golden for two minutes. Add milk and bring to a low simmer, then add cream cheese, whisking until combined. Remove from heat and stir in a cup of cheddar until melted, then season with salt and pepper.
In a nine-by-thirteen dish, add drained cauliflower. Pour over cheddar cheese sauce and stir till combined. Top with remaining cheddar, bacon and green onions. Bake until cauliflower is tender and cheese is melted, 30 minutes. Yields eight servings. Prep time: about 15 minutes. Total time: one hour.
Sharon Hughes is the advertising manager at The Times-Gazette. She is also a mother, grandmother and chef.