Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

My week of house sitting at the in-laws is nearing its end and I have mixed feelings about it.  I miss Shane so I’ll be happy to get home and spend time together.  That said, I love being down here for so many reasons.  It’s peaceful and quiet (cars aren’t speeding by like they do in front of my house) and the ocean is just a few steps away.  We don’t have pets at home so I’ll miss their two cats curling up with me on the couch.  I’ve also really enjoyed having access to all of my father-in-law’s camera equipment :)  We both have Canons but he has many more lenses than I do, as well as the Speedlite 430 EX Flash.  I’ve heard a lot about this flash, but never had an opportunity to use it until this week.  It’s been fun though there’s a lot of trial and error involved as I have no clue how to use it properly.  I made this cauliflower last night long after the sun had set and used the Speedlite to take these photos.  They’re not perfect, but a huge improvement over anything I’d be able to take with the built in flash on my camera!

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

I wasn’t even sure I liked cauliflower before I tried this recipe.  I don’t recall having ever eaten it but as part of my goal to eat more veggies this year, I bought a head of cauliflower at the store with this recipe in mind.  I’d heard many raves about using cauliflower to make faux mashed potatoes and I thought it would be a good preparation to introduce this veggie.  I was surprised by how tasty I found this dish!  I’m not sure you’re going to fool anyone into thinking they’re real mashed potatoes, but the texture is quite similar and the dish has a lot of flavor.  I think you could make them healthier by reducing the amount of butter too and I’ll do that next time.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
adapted from FoodNetwork.com

1 medium head cauliflower
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.

Clean and cut the cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan and cook the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Drain the cauliflower well; do not let cool and pat it very dry between several layers of paper towels.

In the bowl of a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, butter, garlic, salt, and pepper until almost smooth.

Garnish with chives, if desired.