Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Last month's winner of the RFJ was delicious-looking recipe for Banana's Foster cupcakes that used rice flour, presented by the lovely Elle at Elle's New England Kitchen. Congratulations to her and everyone else who participated in the January Joust!
When Jenn from Leftover Queen posted that the ingredients for the February Joust were mushrooms, cauliflower and noodles, I got very very excited. Why you ask? Because I'm totally, utterly, inexplicably addicted to carbs. The amount of carbs and chocolate I consume in a month could possibly feed a small village for a year. Hehehe. But really, what better way to utilize these fantastic ingredients than with a fantastic vegetarian dish: roasted cauliflower and mushrooms mac'n'cheese!!
Roasted Cauliflower and Mushrooms Mac'n'Cheese
1 head of cauliflower (any colour), cleaned and cut into small-ish florets
2 c. mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 box/1 lb. rotini pasta (I use Catelli Smart- it has the nutritional value of whole wheat pasta but tastes like white carb pasta!)
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter (or more olive oil, whatever your preference is)
3 Tbsp. flour
3 c. vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you're not vegetarian)
1 c. milk
1/2 c. Oka cheese, grated
1/2 c. Fontina cheese, grated
1/3 c. Gruyere cheese, grated
1/3 c. Mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated (NOT the stuff in the green can, please! It doesn't melt the same.)
2 tsp. dijon (or grainy) mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2-3/4 c. breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss cauliflower with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, 1/2 of the red pepper flakes, 1/2 of the salt and pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes, stirring/shaking occasionally to make sure nothing sticks or burns.
2. Toss mushrooms with remaining olive oil and seasonings, and add to cauliflower in the oven. Roast everything together for an additional 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. 3. Put a big pot of water on to boil. This will be for your pasta, so when it boils, add about 1 Tbsp. of salt and the box of pasta. Undercook it slightly, since it will be baked with the cauliflower, mushrooms and sauce. (If the box says 8 minutes, cook it for 6.) Drain pasta and set aside.
4. To make the mac'n'cheese: In a medium saucepan, soften onions and garlic in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Melt butter into onions and garlic. Sprinkle in flour and let the raw flour taste cook out- this usually takes 2 minutes. Stir constantly to keep it from burning. (Yay! You just made a "roux"! A roux is also the basis for bechamel sauce.)
5. Add vegetable stock and stir until thickened. Add milk, and keep stirring until slightly thickened and bubbling but not boiling.
6. Turn off heat and add cheeses and mustard. Stir until the cheese is melted. Mix in cauliflower and mushrooms and cooked pasta.
7. Spread pasta into 9x13" baking dish and top with bread crumbs. (You can drizzle olive oil over the breadcrumbs to encourage browning.) Bake for 15-20 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and breadcrumbs are browned.
Garnish with fresh Enoki mushrooms (or just snack on these while you're cooking... which is what I did. They were supposed to be used in the dish, but I got distracted with munching on them. Oops.)