Mel Hynes (takhisis) wrote,
Mel Hynes
takhisis

Because it was requested [recipe]

One of the recipes I've come to view as a staple in this Food Lifestyle Change* is what I call "fauxtatoes". I think we get our comfort foods ingrained at an early age, and my main one has always been mashed potatoes. My roommates in college knew when I'd had a horribly bad day if they came home and I was curled up on the couch with a cup of KFC potatoes. So it's been one of the worst things for me to give up in this endeavour. Fortunately, I found something that satisfies the comfort-ey-craving but is much healthier. I've shared it with several friends, who have agreed that it is Teh Noms(tm). However, whilst I thought I posted the recipe, apparently I failed and only emailed it to one person. So, here's the Magic "Holy Crap I'm Eating Healthy Veggies?" Fauxtatoes recipe.

It's largely based on Linda's "Just Like Twice-Baked Potatoes" recipe, so if you wanna credit, point it at her. I just tweaked to taste. I also tend to use low-fat versions of both cream cheese and cheddar, so calorie etc counts probably aren't the same, but it's still delicious.

Here's my tweaked version:

16-20 ounce package frozen cauliflower
8 ounce cream cheese with chives
8-16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
packaged REEEAL bacon bits (or you can make your own, just don't try the styrofoam synthetic ones)
salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, paprika to taste

Cook the cauliflower until thoroughly soft, about 10-15 minutes. Too long is far better than not long enough. Too long will make the consistency more like mashed potatoes than baked. Too little will leave the consistency very... distinctly floret-ey.

Start heating your oven to 350F. Drain cauliflower very well and return to pot. Add cream cheese and all spices except paprika. Blend with hand or electric beater until you reach the consistency you want. I prefer "mashed potatoes with lumps", but you can go further to "completely smooth potatoes" (which might require the application of milk or cream, I haven't tried it yet), or less to "flaked baked potatoes", as you like.

Once you've reached desired consistency, add shredded cheddar and bacon bits and mix in thoroughly with a regular spoon so as not to have bacon puree. Pour the mixture into a baking dish, top with paprika and a bit extra salt and pepper(s), then finally top THAT with an extra bit of cheese if you like. I usually prefer some shaved parmesan or asiago, or something else similarly dry and somewhat sharp that will form a nice brown crust and a contrast to the rest of the dish.

Bake at 350º for 20-40 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Prepare to fend off other household members who want to have seconds before you've managed to serve yourself firsts.
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