This is not my recipe, I saw this on the Rachael Ray website. Yummmm. I'll list the recipe anyway, but I didn't completely follow it to a T.
Horseradish and Bacon Mac n Cheese with Cauliflower and Scallions
- Bacon (I used one whole package of the microwaveable kind, I hate cooking bacon)
- 1 head of cauliflower florets (I used 2 pounds frozen because the fresh looked gross)
- 1 pound cavatappi pasta, you can use penne rigate if you cant find any
- 3 cups packed shredded white extra sharp cheddar cheese (I didn't use this much, didn't have enough)
- 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1/4 cup chopped chives (I used scallions instead)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups of milk (yes I actually bought real cows milk, it's just the best for this)
- 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg (I did 1/8, I don't really like nutmeg but more probably would have been good)
- salt + pepper
First, as always, prep. I cooked up my bacon in the microwave and put it aside on paper towels to drain. I chopped my scallions, and prepped the rest all while my water was boiling and the broiler was getting nice and hot. You can visit Rachael Ray's Website for the recipe, I'm telling you how I did it. Salt your water and drop in your cauliflower, you want to cook it for a few minutes but it should still have some bite to it. You want it a little crisp so it doesn't mush up in the end. If you're using the frozen microwaveable kind like I did, only microwave about half the time the directions say. You aren't going to get sick from not fully cooking your cauliflower piping hot, don't worry about that.
Once your cauliflower is ready, use a slotted spoon to scoop it into a colander, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and let drain. Bring the same salty water back up to a boil and add your pasta. Now you can start the sauce. In a saucepan add your butter and melt, and then add your flour and thicken. After about a minute whisk in the milk, salt and pepper, and nutmeg and let thicken for a few minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on your pasta, you want to cook it just shy of al dente since it will continue to cook with the hot sauce and in the oven. Drain the pasta over the cauliflower, and transfer into a large baking or casserole dish.
Take you sauce off the heat and add you shredded cheese (reserve a little for sprinkling over the top), you bacon, and 3/4 of your chives or scallions whichever you're using. Stir the cheese sauce until it's thick and creamy. You want it really thick and ready to go because it wont thicken up any more once it's been off the heat a while. Combine sauce, pasta and cauliflower and stir well. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the reserved cheese and broil in the oven until brown and bubbly. Top each serving with additional chives or scallions.