Of Weekends and Cauliflower and Mushroom Mac N Cheese

Did you have a good weekend? I sure did! Weekends are always eventful for me as I gig almost every Friday and Saturday. Best thing about performing in a bar/restaurant setting is that I often catch up with my friends at the same time. It’s great doing what you love as a ‘job’.

And Sundays? I love them because I’d usually start with a nice hearty brunch with my partners in crime and then go for a dip in the pool. We did just that yesterday.

Definitely the best thing about this apartment.

Dinner would usually be rather hearty and last night was Steak night. We bought some Angus Rib Eye from Las Vacas not too far away from me and cooked up a storm at home.

Meaty heaven with decadent truffled mash and vegetables. Red Wine Jus not pictured.

I’ve forgotten to snap a pic of my own plate but this was stolen from Louise‘s new Galaxy S3.

Well, after the huge steak dinner, today I’m craving for nothing but vegetables. Incidentally it’s Meatless Monday again! I shall feature a vegetarian recipe then.

This dish was actually cooked for last Monday night and it might not be the healthiest of meals but it sure is a delight to eat! I like adding tons of vegetables in my Mac N Cheese and Cauliflower tastes fantastic in Cheese sauce. Actually, what doesn’t? There are quite a few methods of making a Mac and Cheese. I’ve always been making a roux for the cheese sauce, season with plenty of Cayenne Pepper and I like to top mine with some bread crumbs for extra crunch. I’ve used Fusilli this time, basically any short pasta works well in this recipe.

Cauliflower and Mushroom Mac and Cheese


Half a pack of Fusilli pasta
1 head Cauliflower, cut into small florets
Handful of Mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced.
50g Butter
1/4 cup Flour
600ml Milk
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
half teaspoon Cumin
half teaspoon Paprika
1 tablespoon English Mustard
1 cup of Mixed Cheese (I like to use a combination of Mozzarella, Parmesan and Cheddar)
1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs, lightly tossed in Olive oil

Bring a pot of salty water to boil and cook Pasta until Al dente (slightly undercooked), add Cauliflower florets in the last 3 minutes.

In another pan, fry garlic and mushrooms in olive oil, again, slightly undercook them.

In a small pot, melt the butter, then add in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Slowly add milk and continue whisking until all the milk has been incorporated. The mixture should coat the spoon and if you draw a line in the middle it stays separate. Add 2/3 of the Cheese and season with Cayenne, Paprika, Cumin, Mustard, Salt and Pepper.

Drain the pasta, add to the cauliflower, stir in the cheese sauce, transfer to baking dish, top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.

Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius, and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve!

Watch everyone going for seconds, or thirds! By the way, the roux cheese sauce is the basis of all Gratins! So experiment away!

19 Comments Add yours

  1. theragingcook says:

    I should follow suit and go vegetarian a couple days a month and reduce my meat consumption!! @_@

    1. kellysiew says:

      Start with weekly! 🙂

  2. Baby Sumo says:

    Ah you use fusilli for your mac and cheese…

    Mac and cheese is one of these dishes which I can eat happily without missing the meat. 🙂

    Btw I’ve added you to my blogroll.

    1. kellysiew says:

      Thanks for linking me! I like that fusilli picks up more of the cheese sauce actually so I use it in sauce based pasta dishes.

  3. i have a buddy who’s crazy about mac-and-cheese … i can’t quite empathize with him, but your rendition looks like something he’d definitely love! 😀

    1. kellysiew says:

      Don’t you like Mac and cheese?

      1. oh, i guess after two or three spoonfuls of mac-and-cheese, i’ve usually had enough of it. or maybe i’ve been missing out and i haven’t had a really tasty mac-and-cheese before 😀

    2. kellysiew says:

      Oh… I had second helping of this. It’s tasty because of all the spices I’ve added. Though I’d agree plain Mac n cheese could be boring. The type of cheese used can influence the taste too.

  4. Yummm i like mac and cheese 🙂 funny thing is my sister has never had it before lol so maybe i should send her this recipe 😛

    1. kellysiew says:

      Hahahaha yeah good idea! 🙂 Everyone loves Mac and Cheese! (Unless you are lactose intolerant I guess)

  5. I’m all for mac n cheese, but not so much cauliflower. LOVE broccoli but cauliflower scares me a little. I prefer it blended to smitherines into a soup 😛 Looks good though!

    1. kellysiew says:

      I love both. Cauliflower tastes really mild in gratins though. I love the soft texture when it’s baked in this manner.

  6. missyblurkit says:

    i need to make this soon. i love a good hearty of mac and cheese during the weekends! Throw in a good piece of steak then wash down with a cold pint of Guinness and chill in front of the TV with the hubster and kiddo!

    Guess this will have to wait till month end since we’re pretty much away all weekends this July. Aaargh!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Can still be a good weeknight dinner 😀

  7. Nice! I wish it wasn’t so cold here then I could go swimming too!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Hehe I’m so worried I’ll freeze to death next month in Melbourne!

  8. liannelow says:

    yum! love mac and cheese! and the addition of cauliflower sounds awesome and healthier! hehe thanks for sharing the recipe babe! x

    1. kellysiew says:

      Yes I love cauliflower gratin so this is a perfect match!

  9. bluredfrank says:

    Good to do the vegetarian thing a few times a week. Good for a balanced regime. Even if there’s a stack of cheese involved.

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