In our current Keto/Paleo/Crossfit/Whole 30 obsessed world, with bread and grains and potatoes thrown into the dustbin, cauliflower has become a favorite food. Makes sense to me! I’ve always been a huge fan. Whether it be roasted simply (my favorite) or covered in cheese sauce or somehow otherwise plated, I love me some cauliflower.
Perhaps because I’m Cajun and our main starch was white rice, I’ve never been a huge mashed potato fan. Roast or baked potatoes? Oh my. I’ll knock an old lady over for stellar roast potatoes or a loaded baked. But somehow mashed potatoes have only been useful as a reason to enjoy an amazing gravy. (Do you really need the mashed, though? How about a bowl of gravy and a spoon? Or, really, just a bowl of gravy and a biscuit? There you are!)
Yet I’ve fallen in love with mashed cauliflower, though it took me a few tries to get right. I loved the taste from the beginning. But I could never get the consistency quite right… it was always just a touch runny. Sure, butter and cream had something to do with that but, hey, you can’t have mashed anything without butter and cream.
Finally, I had an idea and gave it a try… a little cream cheese added to the mix. Wow. Perfect consistency and same great taste, you’ll never know it’s there.
So.. below… honestly, the best mashed cauliflower you’ve ever had. With a little garlic and thyme added in, even you die hard mashed potato fans might be surprised how much you like it. Even without gravy! But whether on their own (I love these mashed all alone) or with a wonderful pan sauce… upcoming in a soon to be posted post… this mashed cauliflower recipe will become a staple.
For the recipe, click here:
TOM’S MASHED CAULIFLOWER
I love this mashed so much I often double it and eat on it all week. It’s wonderful under a variety of main dishes, such as a pork chop or a white fish, or just use it as a side the way you would mashed potatoes.
1 head cauliflower
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 T butter
2 T cream cheese
a couple of glugs heavy cream and/or creme fraiche’
handful of thyme leaves
cracked black pepper
1) Into the bowl of a food processor (or a large bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), place the butter and cream cheese so each can warm slightly and soften.
2) Remove only the green leaves of the cauliflower and break the head into pieces. NOTE: I like to use the stem because it helps create a thicker consistency.
3) In a large pot of well salted water (2-3 T) boil the cauliflower and garlic cloves until the cauliflower is soft… basically, when you can stick a knife into the pieces and the knife goes through pretty easily. You don’t want mush, though! Drain well.
3) Add the warm cauliflower and garlic to the food processor (or bowl) on top of the butter and cream cheese, along with the cream/creme fraiche’, the thyme and a few shakes each of salt and pepper.
4) Blend well until all is smooth. This mashed holds well for an afternoon, to be used later for dinner, or a few days in the fridge. Just rewarm on the stove or in the microwave.
NOTE: I am doing a bit of an easy cheat here with the garlic, boiling it along with the cauliflower. If you have the time and inclination, you can sauté sliced garlic on the stove in a small frying pan or roast a head of garlic in the oven and add either before you puree. I’ve done both and both are wonderful. But this ‘boiled garlic’ actually works well to give a hint of garlic and saves a lot of time on a weeknight.
*UPDATE: for a marvelous twist on this, add 3 T curry powder to the food processor before turning it on. Wow. Wonderful. Thank you, Julia Reed for the suggestion!