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Cauliflower Jalapeno Mac n Cheese

Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese, whether it be Canada’s KD (Kraft Dinner) or any number of restaurant style macaroni and cheese dishes? One of our fav restaurants in Merida, Yucatan – Merci, does a wonderful macaroni and cheese with jumbo shrimp! What’s not to love about that? Of course, when you do KETO, you avoid pasta, But, since we are now only KC (Keto conscious) we have a little leeway. Don’t tell your family it is KETO. They do not need to know. This is undoubtedly a new fav recipe, with a touch of jalapeno (optional).

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KETO Cauliflower Jalapeno Mac n Cheese with Bacon

Ingredients (Vegans, omit bacon)

  • 1 large head cauliflower cut into small bites
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese I use a cheddar blend
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 strips of uncured bacon cooked and crumbled (bacon grease reserved)*
  • 3 teaspoons bacon grease melted
  • 2 jalapeño peppers minced (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add the cauliflower florets to a microwave safe bowl with a plate (or paper plate) on top Microwave for 7-8 minutes or until slightly tender (or your desired texture). You can steam it instead, if you don’t have or want to use a microwave, but I wouldn’t boil it, it might be too watery.
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a saucepan over medium. Add in the butter and bacon grease, then sauté the jalapeño peppers until tender, should take just about 2-3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted. Add the remaining ingredients and still until well combined and all the cheese has melted.
  3. Add in 1-2 tablespoons of hot water if needed, to reach your desired consistency.
  4. Once the cauliflower is cooked through, you don’t need to drain it or pat it dry. The small amount of moisture will be perfect with this sauce, which as I mentioned, is on the thicker side. Pour cauliflower in the skillet and mix well to coat each piece, then serve.
  5. Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or crumbled bacon.
  6. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days. It reheats beautifully in the microwave or stovetop.

Notes

The amount of jalapeño pepper that you use is entirely up to you, and will depend personal preference. I would recommend using 2 jalapeño peppers for a mild to medium level of heat and flavor. If you’re like me and love a spicy kick and a stronger jalapeño flavor, you’ll want to use a bit more.

 

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

Tis the season for great fall produce, including the last of those colorful peppers. Here, in Yucatan, there is always an abundance of jalapenos available so I always keep a few jars of this jelly on hand. This recipe comes from www.allrecipes.com.

We serve this over a softened block of Philadelphia cream cheese and top it with a few canned anchovies for a sweet, spicy and salty taste all at once over our favorite crackers.

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

Ingredients

2 1/2 green bell peppers minced

1 3/4 cans diced jalapeno peppers (4 ounces of minced fresh)

1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar

5 1/3 cups white sugar

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

6 oz. liquid Pectin

Food coloring (optional 4 drops)

Directions

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine peppers, vinegar, sugar and cayenne pepper. Cook over medium heat. Stir frequently until mixture begins to boil. Stir in Pectin, boil 5 minutes longer, stirring CONSTANTLY and mix in optional food coloring. Skim off any foam and remove from heat.

Ladle into sterilized jars of your choice. I usually use the small Ball ones with metal lids. Seal and process in a boiling water container for 5 minutes. Let cool. I usually keep the cooled jars in the refrigerator.

Great gift idea…

Great for US Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Years!