No Mac - Mac and Cheese


2.5-ounces baked pork rinds, grated

¼ cup (1-ounce) fresh-grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the dish

Soft, unsalted butter, for baking dish

2 large heads of cauliflower (about 2 pounds each), cut into florets and stems cut into floret-size pieces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup organic heavy whipping cream

2 slices (1½ ounces) American processed cheese

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mild cheddar cheese

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons dried parsley

The sauce for the No Mac - Mac and Cheese is creamy and flavorful. Courtesy of Don Mauer

Fresh ground black pepper

Sweet paprika

Place the oven rack in the center position and begin heating the oven to 375 degrees. Using a small amount of butter, lightly coat the interior bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Set aside.

Make the topping: Add the crushed pork rinds, Parmesan cheese and olive oil to a medium bowl and stir together until well combined. Set aside.

Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the salt to a large mixing bowl. Add the cauliflower florets and stem pieces and toss until coated. Spread the cauliflower onto two large baking sheets and roast until tender and lightly golden, about 30 minutes.

While the cauliflower roasts, place a 5-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the whipping cream. Heat, while stirring frequently, until small bubbles begin appearing around the edge. Lower the heat and begin stirring in the grated cheeses. Remove from heat and stir in the dried parsley. (If too thick, stir in a couple of tablespoons whole milk).

Roasting the cauliflower gives an added depth of flavor to No Mac - Mac and Cheese. Courtesy of Don Mauer

Transfer the roasted cauliflower to the prepared baking dish, distributing it evenly to the edges. Evenly pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower. Sprinkle pork mixture in an even layer over cauliflower and cheese and dust with sweet paprika.

Bake until golden, 20 minutes (it should be bubbling around the edge).

Serves 12

Nutrition values per serving: 434 calories (69.5% from fat), 33.6 g fat (18.7 g saturated fat), 9.4 g carbohydrates (6.6. net carbs), 3.2 g sugars, 2.8 g fiber, 12.8 g protein, 100 mg cholesterol, 634 mg sodium.

Don Mauer

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