Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

Comfort food has a long standing tradition, especially on the East Coast of Canada. We love warm dishes that we can belly up to at the dinner table and share with our families. A lot of the east coast dishes I will be sharing will be made family style (meaning it's made in a big batch to share-always with plans for leftovers.)

Growing up in Cape Breton, this was the style of food we ate. Hearty food that could sustain us during a busy life, and would taste just as great-if not better, the next day.

A funny thing happened yesterday as I launched my blog. I realized that I don't cook with recipes....ever. I never once have measured a spice, or salt. I have never chopped an onion and put it in a measuring cup to ensure that I had the right amount. I have always cooked by taste, feel and look. The food often turns out great, and sometimes it doesn't. So now that I have told you that: make sure you understand that I am ball parking this recipe for those that do want to follow. Please taste throughout the cooking process always and season this dish as you wish.

This dish has become a go-to comfort food for my husband and I. I find that when we are craving mac and cheese, or scalloped potatoes this will hit the spot and spare us the carbohydrates. You can omit the spice if you and your family are not fans, or play with them to suit your tastes. Let me know in the comments if you have made some modifications and how they turned out!

 

 On the left is the casserole before baking, on the right is right before cutting in to serve.

On the left is the casserole before baking, on the right is right before cutting in to serve.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Large head of cauliflower, cut in to tiny florets
  • 1 Jalapeno diced in small 1/4" cubes (brunoise cut)
  • 1 Bunch of green onions greens and white finely chopped
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tsp cayenne
  • 6 Slices of thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 Cup sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Pre-heat oven to 375
  • In a large mixing bowl mix together: milk/cream, cream cheese, greek yogurt, half of the cheddar (reserve some for sprinkling on top), garlic, cayenne, jalapeno, half of the green onions, dash of salt and pepper. Set aside
  • Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray. Place cauliflower in it so cauliflower is close, but not heavily layered. (it's ok if you have maybe an inch or an inch and a half of cauliflower overlapping, but remember that the more steam escapes, the less mushy it will be.)
  • Spread your cheese and spice mixture as evenly as you can over the cauliflower. It's ok if you don't cover every floret-it spreads once heated and gets a gooey texture.
  • Please in oven on middle rack, uncovered for 30 mins.
  • While casserole is baking, render down the bacon by cooking it in a frying pan over low heat. Once it's looking partially cooked-but not too crispy (think rubbery bacon) remove from heat and drain.
  • After 30 mins, remove the casserole and sprinkle remaining cheddar, green onions and bacon over top.
  • Place under broiler until golden and bubbly, and the bacon looks crispy like bacon bits. Let sit 10 mins and serve piping hot as a side dish or a main.