This is the good stuff: creamy and utterly delectable, with just the right amount of bite from almond meal “breadcrumbs.”
- Frozen cauliflower florets (I used 1 kg, but I would actually change this to 1.5-2 kg)
- 200 g creamy Havarti cheese, shredded (monterey jack would be a good substitution)
- 200 g aged cheddar, shredded
- 0.5 cup 35% (whipping) cream
- salt & freshly ground pepper to taste (I used about 2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp pepper).
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 2 egg yolks (optional)
- 1.5 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
- 0.5 cups coarse almond meal or slivered almonds
- It would be helpful to have a mortar and pestle
- Casserole Pan
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Boil the cauliflower in a scant half cup of water. Cover until cooked and most of the water is gone (approximately 10 minutes). Take off the heat.
- In the meantime, heat cream on medium heat in a saucepan until it is almost boiling. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Optional: for a thicker sauce, integrate the egg yolks:
- Beat the two egg yolks in a separate bowl.
- Trickle in a little bit of the hot cream while beating the egg yolks with the whisk (this is called “tempering” — for more information, see Serious Eats‘s website on this topic).
- Pour and whisk the cream-egg yolk mixture into the cream in the saucepan.
- Pat yourself on the back for successfully tempering egg yolks without getting scrambled eggs.
- Whisk in the Havarti and cheddar cheese until the sauce is thick, smooth, and creamy.
- Drain the cauliflower if necessary and combine with the sauce in a casserole dish.
- Add half the almond meal and mix (do not use almond flour! Almond meal is coarse and should seem almost like breadcrumbs. If you cannot find almond meal, use the mortar and pestle to grind whole slivered almonds).
- Place in the oven. After 20 minutes, increase temperature to 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, mix the remainder of the coarse almond meal with the shredded Parmesan.
- Top the mac and cheese with the Parmesan-almond meal mixture and broil for five minutes (watch this carefully since almonds burn very easily).
- Serve after cooling.
Before placing in the oven
After being heated at 400 degrees, but before broiling/adding the Parmesan mixture