Caramelized Mashed Cauliflower + Cheddar Cheese Gravy 🧀

This is the mashed cauliflower of your dreams. One that people will prefer to potatoes. But how? By cooking it beyond any point that seems reasonable or sane.

Moisture: The Mortal Enemy Of Transcendant Mashed Cauliflower 💧

The main place where people go wrong with their mashed cauliflower comes down to the water content of the vegetable. It’s where a lot of the loose, mealy textures that are so off-putting to people originate from. There’s really only one remedy for that, and that’s to cook the daylights out of it.

…and when I say we are cooking the daylights out of it, I mean it. In many cases this means up to 20 minutes in the microwave on high, with about half of that being uncovered. The removal of all this moisture does wonders for the final texture. It stiffens everything up and takes the weird wet texture away that it can often have.

Cauliflower Can Be Golden Brown And Delicious 🍽

We actually want to go a little further than what we want our final moisture content to be for a couple of different reasons. I find it really beneficial to add some high fat dairy back to the mashed cauliflower. We want to drive out some extra water because we are putting it back in the form of half-and-half. It really makes it “stand up” on the plate. Overall, it gives it a more potato-like mouthfeel.

Caramelized Mashed Cauliflower + Cheddar Cheese Gravy

We also have to really dry things out to get the cauliflower the start to caramelize on its edges. This parsnip-like sweetness really shines through in the finished dish and gives it a lot of personality.

Cheddar Cheese Gravy? An Instant Keto Classic. 🧀

I almost always keep homemade bone broth around and decided to use it this past Thanksgiving to try to make the keto gravy that previously eluded me in past years. I thought the high collagen content of my recipe would make for a great gravy with the right side players involved, and it definitely did.

It was still a little too plain, but in the way that a blank canvas is plain. There was a lot of potential there and I still have some ideas for how to incorporate more of a traditional “turkey gravy” taste into it this coming holiday season.

For now, I took it in a little bit of a different direction. This was one that was meant to help me squelch the mac-and-cheese cravings I occasionally get when my two young boys eat the full carb stuff. The recipe has enough xanthan gum to be able to carry the cheese without the sauce breaking, so it was easy enough to just add some extra sharp cheddar to turn the whole thing into a cheese gravy.

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Caramelized Mashed Cauliflower

This is the mashed cauliflower of your dreams that people will prefer to potatoes. How? By cooking it beyond any point that seems reasonable or sane.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, BBQ, Keto, Low Carb, Paleo
Keyword caramelized, cauliflower, microwave, moisture, parsley
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 53 kcal

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cauliflower (Florets work best.)
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • salt
  • black pepper

Instructions

  1. Microwave the cauliflower while covered in a heavy microwave-safe dish with a tight fitting lid for 10 minutes on high.

  2. Remove the lid and stir the cauliflower. Microwave the cauliflower for 6 minutes on high with the lid removed.

  3. You want to see the cauliflower starting to caramelize a little bit around the thin parts of the floret stems. Keep putting it back in the microwave for two minutes at a time uncovered until you do. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.

  4. Add the slightly cooled florets to a food processor and process until the whole thing begins to bind up just a little bit. Then scrape down the bowl, add a splash of half and half, and repeat until you reach the consistency of mashed potatoes. It should be just loose enough to process, but that’s it. It takes about a 1/4 cup for me, but your results may be different.

  5. Salt and pepper to taste, processing after each addition for about a minute to allow the salt to incorporate.

  6. Serve with cheddar cheese gravy and sprinked with parsley.

Nutrition Facts
Caramelized Mashed Cauliflower
Amount Per Serving
Calories 53 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 46mg 2%
Potassium 419mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 2.7%
Vitamin C 79.7%
Calcium 4.5%
Iron 3.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cheddar Cheese Gravy

This was one that was meant to help me squelch the mac-and-cheese cravings I occasionally get when my two young boys eat the full carb stuff. It’s a relatively simple adaptation of a basic keto gravy. 

Course Condiment, Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine American, BBQ, Keto, Low Carb, Paleo
Keyword bone broth, cheddar, cheese, gravy, heavy cream, xanthan gum
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 9 servings
Calories 123 kcal

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • salt

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Mix the bone broth, water, cream, and butter in a small saucepot and bring to a boil. Reduce by a little less than half and then rapidly whisk in the xanthan gum very rapidly. Using a salt shaker helps a lot here.

  2. The mixture will thicken very considerably. Add the cheddar cheese an ounce at a time, whisking until it melts and incorporates. You may have to stop short of the full 4 ounces if it gets too thick.

Nutrition Facts
Cheddar Cheese Gravy
Amount Per Serving
Calories 123 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 99mg 4%
Potassium 22mg 1%
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 8%
Calcium 9.9%
Iron 0.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
You've heard (and perhaps made?) the complaints about mashed cauliflower that it is watery, runny, and insipid. Sadly, the fact is most of these complaints are true. We do better here, though. This is a mashed cauliflower people will prefer to potatoes. How? By cooking it beyond any point that seems reasonable or sane. #keto #lowcarb #cheese #lowcarbpapa #cauliflower #ketorecipes

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