12 August 2009

Surprise Mashed "Potatoes"

The girls and I were watching Food Network Challenge Sesame Street Cakes on tv the other night. The bakers got to meet the characters and even got to visit Sesame Street. (!!!) While one baker was interviewing Elmo about the cake she was making with his image Elmo said, "cake is a sometimes food." And so it has become in this household, sadly. (It didn't used to be this way.) Potatoes have joined cake, cupcakes, cookies, and brownies on the "sometimes" list. Oh, how we love potatoes in this family. Hash browns, mashed, sauteed, baked, in pot pies, in stews and soups, and (my personal favorite) sliced and layered with cheese, flour, and milk in my Pampered chef pan. I'm drooling! Steaks, roasts, everything just tastes better with a side of potatoes. So I had to find a substitute. I dug out my old South Beach Diet cookbook to find the recipe for Surprise Mashed "Potatoes." I've heard many, many good things about the recipe, but was always skeptical. But I was in the throws of major potato withdrawal, desperation fueled my every step. I tried it, I compared it to potatoes, and...I loved it. Really! A bit sweeter than regular mashed potatoes, but otherwise very little difference. Maybe a little less dense, but I wouldn't lie to you. This recipe is very good and will satisfy your potato cravings! Especially with a side of steak.

So here's what you will need:

1 bag frozen cauliflower (not thawed)
1 T butter
2T half and half (or milk)
garlic salt to taste (or regular salt)
pepper to taste
food processor (or blender)
rice cooker/vegetable steamer

I have a vegetable steamer so I will give you the directions using one, but if you don't have one, steam your cauliflower any way you like. Just make sure that the cauliflower is softer (more well done) than you would cook it if you were just going to eat it. Your fork should just slide right through with no resistance.

Assemble your steamer with full water on the bottom and the cauliflower in the tray/bowl with the holes. (It probably has a name, but I lost my booklet on my steamer a loooong time ago.) You don't need the rice bowl. Put the whole bag of frozen cauliflower in the steamer.

Set the timer for 30 minutes.

When it is ready, remove the cauliflower in its little tray and pour it into the food processor or blender. Do not add any of the water from the steamer. A note of caution: never try to open your steamer without hot pads or the Ove Glove on each hand. The very first time I used my steamer I steamed my fingers and had to go to the hospital and get a tetanus shot. To this day when it rains they cramp up... :) :)

Add your butter, milk or cream, salt, and pepper. I really like the little bit of flavor that garlic salt adds to these "potatoes."

Now pulse, pulse, pulse until it's all smooth.

Very creamy, super yummy.

Did I mention incredibly cheap?? Less than $2 for the bag of cauliflower and you probably already have the milk and butter on hand. This recipe will feed a family of four with a couple of second helpings. Your little kids may not be able to tell the difference at all. Slap a little fat free gravy on top and I bet they will lap it up. Big kids won't be fooled, my two weren't. But they did like it. Not as much as mashed potatoes, though.

*note: Sadly, Elmo's cake didn't win the Challenge.

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