One of the most popular Thanksgiving sides is macaroni and cheese. But I’ve always felt it’s more of a weeknight dinner for my 3 year old, than a dish served at Thanksgiving feast. So this recipe is a good compromise. Its cheesy enough to satisfy your guests cravings, and different enough to be served at a more formal dinner!
This is a great make-ahead dish for Thanksgiving. You can prepare it in advance and just throw it in the oven for 20 minutes before serving! Enjoy!!
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup creme fraiche
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded parmesan
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- Cut cauliflower florets and boil them in water, with pinch of salt. Cook until they are tender, but not too overcooked and mushy. Drain water and put them in a baking pan.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan and add in flour. Keep stirring, to keep from lumping or burning. When flour is mixed in completely (about 1-2 minutes) slowly add in the heavy cream. Let this mixture simmer on medium low heat for about 5 minutes. Stir it constantly so it does not burn! Heavy cream gives this dish a creamier texture. You may substitute it with whole milk, but just make sure you add in the creme fraiche.
- Mixture should be a little thicker now. Take it off heat, and quickly add in the cheddar cheese, cream fraiche, mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir until cheese is melted and mixed in well. I usually buy creme fraiche from Whole Foods or Trader Joes. If you can’t find it, you can just add more heavy cream. I would recommend not to use sour cream because it tends to curdle when cooked.
- Put back on heat and give it another quick boil for a few seconds.
- Pour mixture on top of the cauliflower, covering it evenly.
- Top it off with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.