Sunday, June 7, 2015

Desperation in the Kitchen: Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce (with chicken and penne)

I like cauliflower. I like alfredo sauce. However, the thought of putting the two together kind of freaked me out...but I like a challenge. This was definitely a bucket list food, although I had major trepidation approaching this meal. Because, c' sounds weird.

And then my wonderful husband told me that it sounded really weird and that he only ate cauliflower when it was cooked and really mushy or in soup. So that made me even more wary of trying it.

For the record, I came across this recipe on Pinterest, but it comes from Pinch of Yum . The only thing I changed was the amount of garlic, as I had a giant head of garlic, so the 8 cloves the original recipe called for became 5 gigantic cloves.

Want to know how it turned out? I'll update at the end of the post ;)

Here's What You Need:
*Seasonings for chicken
*Olive oil
*8 garlic cloves (or 5 really, really, really big ones)
*2 Tablespoons of butter
*5-6 cups of cauliflower florets (I used one big head of cauliflower)
*6-7 cups vegetable broth or water (I used water seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
*salt, to taste
*pepper, to taste
*1/2 cup of milk
*Not pictured: Parmesan cheese, because I always forget one thing.
*Pasta (I used penne)
*A jar of pre-made alfredo sauce (just in case this is a bust)

Here's what you do

*Saute your chicken in olive oil and seasonings, set aside

*Saute the garlic in the butter until it's soft and fragrant, but not burned ('cause it will taste bitter). Set aside.

*Take the head of cauliflower and break it apart into florets. Joke with your 9 year old about how much the cauliflower looks like a brain. Shudder inwardly and decide that you just cannot touch the cauliflower anymore. Make the 9 year old finish the rest.

*Bring the seasoned water to a boil. Cook the cauliflower in it for 7-10 minutes, or until it's fork-tender.

*Meanwhile, boil the water for the pasta.

*Scoop out the cauliflower and put it in the blender, along with the garlic butter,  about a cup of water, a splash of milk, seasonings, and parmesan cheese. You may have to do this in batches.

*Blend the everloving daylights out of that cauliflower. Add more spices if you need to.

*Add it to your chicken. Serve with pasta. We added bacon bits (because Ella must have bacon with EVERYTHING) and more parmesan on top. 

*The verdict: This rocked! Ella and I both had good-sized servings and then Gabe came home from work and demolished the rest. No leftovers! And the best part is: I didn't need to use my jar of "just in case the experiment is horrific" alfredo. Whoot!

(Also, I've looked up the health benefits of cauliflower here and apparently cauliflower is awesome in many, many ways....I'll definitely be making this again, and I'll definitely be cooking with cauliflower more...I usually just put it in soups.)

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