Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ham and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese - Crazy Cooking Challenge

Ham and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese - ButterYum

Welcome to my first submission to the Crazy Cooking Challenge hosted by Tina from Mom's Crazy Cooking.
  • What is it?  A monthly blog hop.
  • This month's challenge?  Search blogs for macaroni and cheese recipes, chose one, make it, and blog about it. 
  • The purpose?  To highlight other blogs and have fun meeting new bloggers along the way.  
  • How can you participate?  Visit the links below and vote for your favorite!
So, who likes homemade Mac and Cheese?  More like who doesn't, right?  I know, I love it.  Especially when it includes meat and veggies because that means I only have to make one dish for dinner.  As far as I'm concerned, that makes this the ultimate mac and cheese.

Okay, so I started with a recipe for cauliflower mac and cheese that I found on a wonderful blog called Chocolate and Carrots by Caroline - the recipe is one Caroline adapted from another blog.  I adapted it yet again to accommodate my family's preferences and it was a hit with everyone, even my picky teen who doesn't like anything I cook.  Maybe you'll give it a try and make a few adaptations of your own.  Enjoy!

Ham and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese - ButterYum

Ham and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
makes one 9x13 casserole

1 head cauliflower, chopped (cooked in salted water until tender)
1 pound elbow macaroni (cooked in salted water until al dente)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk, plus 1/2 cup more  for pureeing cauliflower
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (7 ounces)
12 ounces cooked diced ham
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder (or 1 teaspoon prepared mustard)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter a 9x13 casserole pan; set aside.  Puree cooked cauliflower and 1/2 cup milk in a food processor until smooth; set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over med-hi heat.  Add flour and whisk to combine; continue cooking while stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Add 4 cups milk, mustard, salt and pepper; boil for 2 full minutes or until thick; whisking constantly.

Turn off heat and whisk in cauliflower puree and cheddar cheese until smooth.  Fold in cooked pasta and diced ham; pour into prepared casserole dish.  Sprinkle top evenly with bread crumbs and dot with 2 tablespoons cubed butter.  Bake uncovered for 1 hour until hot and bubbly.  If needed, place under broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown.  Rest for 10 minutes before serving (will be soft).

Note: to cut square servings as shown, allow to cool for at least an hour.


  1. You always do everything right. I love the way this came out. I would make it without any meat since we are cutting down,

  2. I have just heard about these blog hops... very cool. Your recipe looks delicious.. wish I had it right now - going to vote now!

  3. Hi I found your blog on the crazy cooking challenge. You have a great blog looks so yummy :) Check out my food blog

  4. Love the addition of cauliflower and your mac & cheese looks gorgeous.

    My Crazy Cooking Challenge entry: Velvety Mac & Cheese.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  5. Patricia, this recipe look amazing, moist, crispy, delicious!! besides it looks so easy to make. Thanks for sharing and hugs for all your lovely comments in my blog. I was having a bad day yesterday and your comment brought sunshine on a boring day at work.

  6. I vote for yours, it looks delicious and I like everything in it!

  7. Mac and cheese is the ultimate childhood comfort food. Like your choice of recipe to show it off!

  8. Butter, this is amazing! I adore your mac -- I love the height of it, and as always with your posts and photos... I want! :)

  9. I love the look of that! So golden and filled with delicious ingredients! Mac and cheese is such an American thing so I've never made it before...but I'd be willing too for this recipe!

  10. Just looking at it I thought:There is noway this cant be delicious;) Great even:)

  11. Hey, I have one of those picky kids, too...but today is her birthday, so she gets to choose dinner :) She does love mac and cheese though, so what a useful blog hop...she's bound to like one of the options. And I LOVE yours...mmmm cauliflower~

  12. Yours looks great...I like that you incorporated Cauliflower in your recipe!

    My Ultimate Mac N Cheese:

  13. This dish looks gorgeous! A FAVORITE dish at ALL of my husband's side of the family's gatherings is baked macaroni and cheese. They also LOVE cauliflower and cheese so certainly I have to try this. Hope mine turns out looking and snazzy as yours!

    Thanks for posting this!


  14. I like the casserole version of mac and cheese! Ham and Cheese yum!

    Stopping by from the MACARONI & CHEESE Linky Party through Moms Crazy Cooking

  15. This looks fabulous! Perfect for a cozy fall day, like today! I love the ham and cauliflower added in. Great recipe!

  16. Love that it's a whole meal!

    I hope you had as much fun as I did, doing this challenge. Thanks for participating!

    Stop by and check out my Mac & Cheese Bites!

  17. Well that's just crazy sounding. CRAZY GOOD!!! Yum! Way to spiff up mac 7 cheese. Sounds amazing!!!

  18. Holy cow...your mac & cheese looks amazing. I will have to try it to serve to my weekly dinner gaterhing. -- Joann

  19. Mmmm! Your recipe looks delicious! Perfect comfort food. I have to join your blog for more recipes!

  20. They all look delicious but I LOVE yours. What a great combination of ingredients!

  21. Oh, I felt my thighs get thicker with each entry! You can tell it is becoming fall when we start craving Mac and Cheese again! Pure sin food! I just had Cheesecake Factory's Mac and Cheese Hamburger - huge burger with a ball of their deepfried Mac and Cheese on top - can it get naughtier than that?

    Then we made a jalapeno one to eat at home. Yours looks fabulous. I would never thought of adding cauliflower to it, but that sounds outrageous.

  22. Love that this incorporates cauliflower puree! I'm a fellow CCC participant dropping by to say hi (I'm entry #5). Nice to 'meet' you!
    Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground

  23. I don't know why but in your tribute post it's impossible to comment...anyway i wrote few minutes ago on my blog..I will never forget and I hug you and all your great Country very very strong, ciao Flavia

  24. I voted for your looks so good! I love cauliflower but never would have thought about it with mac-n-cheese!

    Stopped by from CCC. I'm #48.

  25. Oh wow! Would never think about making such a dish by myself. Very nice recipe, accept my thanks!

    International Calls to Australia

  26. OMGoodness, when I saw the TITLE of this, I had to come over from FF and see for myself! This sounds AWESOME and something I will make now that Fall weather (and comfort food) is here! Thanks so much!!! XO, Pinky

  27. Delicious! Recipes like this are the best ones. I'll try to cook it today. Keep sharing.


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