Cauliflower Is Gordon Ramsay's Secret Ingredient For Upgraded Mac And Cheese

Black bowl filled with mac and cheese
Black bowl filled with mac and cheese - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

You don't have to be a culinary expert to whip up the best mac and cheese ever. The dish can come together with just two ingredients, and it doesn't require any special culinary techniques. As long as you know how to boil water and melt cheese, you can still make a pretty decent rendition. Gordon Ramsay, however, doesn't settle for the bare minimum when he makes the classic comfort food.

In addition to three types of cheeses, including cheddar, Lancashire, and Cheshire, the celebrity chef also adds cayenne pepper, thyme, and English mustard powder. But while these spices certainly elevate the flavor profile of the dish, the most noteworthy addition is actually the cauliflower. Ramsay takes the humble vegetable, boils it for no more than five minutes so it's tender but not soft. He then mixes it in with the macaroni, and it gets completely disguised in the cheese sauce, transforming the overall texture of the dish.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

What Cauliflower Does To The Texture Mac And Cheese

Scooping mac and cheese from pot
Scooping mac and cheese from pot - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

How cauliflower transforms the texture of mac and cheese depends on whether you puree it after cooking or keep it in chunks. In Gordon Ramsay's version, the cauliflower remains in chunks, which introduces a heartier element to a dish that might otherwise verge on the mushy side. This application is further enhanced by the addition of breadcrumbs on top, ultimately resulting in a mac and cheese with layers of texture and a distinct mouthfeel.

If you were to puree the cauliflower on the other hand, your mac and cheese would have a much different consistency. When cooked cauliflower gets blended with stock or water, it takes on a velvety texture. Adding this to a heavy cheese sauce would not only lighten it up, but also give it a luxurious, creamy consistency. Compared to Ramsay's recipe however, a mac and cheese incorporating cauliflower puree may lack the textural contrast that defines his chunkier iteration.

How Much Cauliflower Gordon Ramsay Adds To Mac And Cheese

Steaming boiled cauliflower in pot of water
Steaming boiled cauliflower in pot of water - Helena Zolotuhina/Shutterstock

Gordon Ramsay doesn't hold back when it comes to adding cauliflower to his mac and cheese, in fact his version calls for half macaroni and half cauliflower. This ratio is easily adaptable to all kinds of mac and cheese recipes, and ensures there's an even amount of both ingredients in every bite. You could always add more or less cauliflower depending on your preference, but in doing so, you want to be mindful of how the flavor will be affected.

Although cauliflower is relatively mild, it isn't completely tasteless. It carries notes of sweetness, bitterness, and nuttiness, which means the more cauliflower you add to mac and cheese, the more of its flavors you'll be able to detect in your mac and cheese. If you want the cauliflower taste to be more subdued, you can always use less than Ramsay suggests, because even a modest addition of cauliflower will still enhance the overall quality of your mac and cheese.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.