Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Green Chiles*

cauli Comfort food today. Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? How about lightening up that carb total a bit, and spicin’ it up at the same time?

A winner for sure.

So get up and get busy in that kitchen.



  • About 1/3-1/2 of a large head of cauliflower, broken up into fairly small flowerets.
  • 1 c elbow macaroni (or other such as small shells)
  • 1 1/2 c of milk
  • either a roux of butter and flour (1:1 ratio) generally 2 tbsp of each, or 1 tsp xantham gum.
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 large Poblano or other chile of your choice, charred, seeded, peeled and chopped.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-3 tbsp hot sauce of your choice
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (sharp cheddar is great)


  1. Salt a large saucepan  of water and either place pasta in cold or bring to a boil first. It really doesn’t make any difference. Cook until about half way done and then add the cauliflower and continue cooking until macaroni is al dente and cauliflower is firm but pierceable with a knife fairly easily. Drain.
  2. Add the roux and milk, or add the milk to the empty saucepan, sprinkle the xantham gum on the surface and whisk, while heating until it gets bubbly and thickens.
  3. Cut up the cream cheese into bits and drop in and continue whisking until it has melted in.
  4. Add the mustard and salt and pepper and hot sauce.
  5. Add 2 c of cheese, cheddar.
  6. Add the pasta and cauliflower back in and stir until fully coated.
  7. Serve.


NOTES: you can add whatever chiles you wish and also vary the cheeses as you desire

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton


Southwestern Dressing

southwesterndressingThis year I tired of making my usual Italian Thanksgiving dressing and decided to change things up a bit.

Actually it turned out rather well.

The amounts are not exact, but if you stay close to the approximations all will be well.


  • 6 cups cubed sourdough bread, dried at least 24 hours
  • 2 cups crumbed and dried cornbread
  • 1 c chopped celery, finely minced
  • 1 c chopped onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 c chopped carrot, finely minced
  • 2 Anaheim, Hatch, or Poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 finely minced red sweet pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage of 2 tsp dried
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb chopped andouille sausage
  • 1 c corn, frozen or drained canned, or fresh
  • 2 – 4 cups chicken stock


  1. Place the breads in a very large bowl and mix gently.
  2. Place the celery, onion, carrot, sweet pepper and saute in a bit of olive oil until softened and translucent.
  3. Add to the veggies, the chiles and herbs and mix.
  4. Add the sausage and corn, mixing again.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. Pour into the bowl with the breads and mix gently.
  7. Add the chicken stock a cup at a time, and stir carefully each time, until it starts to cling together. Too much will make it soggy and mushy and not enough will make it dry. Err on the dry side, you can always add a bit more half way through the baking time if it seems too dry.
  8. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes, until hot throughout.


NOTES: I used to pour all into a casserole and then pour the stock over, but I found it harder to judge the amount that way, and ended up with a pretty soggy dressing. So I suggest you do it in a bowl where you an stir and see a bit better how much you really need.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Passionate Parmesan Potatoes

Roasted_Red_Potatoes_Bacon_Garlic_Parmesan_41These are so good.

It goes well with so many dishes.

Try them with fried chicken or fried pork chops.

Try them with grilled sausages.

Try them with pie.

Or cake.

Or oatmeal.

Oh just try them.


  • 2 lbs or so of small potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 small onions, quartered each so that the root is intact on each segment, holding each segment together
  • 6 slices thick cut bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic, microplaned
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 c shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 freshly minced parsley or chives


  • Place the unpeeled chunks of potato and onion into a large plastic bag.
  • Add about 2 tbsp of canola oil. Turn bag up and down to coat.
  • Spread evenly on a parchment covered baking pan and  roast in a 425° oven until fork tender (30 minutes should be fine)
  • Meanwhile cut up the bacon into 1″ pieces and fry until done. Remove to paper towelling and blot. Set aside.
  • Remove all but 1 tbsp of the bacon fat from pan and add the garlic.
  • Whisk the garlic until fragrant.
  • Add the cream and heat until just starting to bubble, but don’t let it boil hard.
  • Add the butter and continue whisking until melted and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  • Add the cheese and whisk until melted.
  • Add the potatoes and onions to the sauce and stir to mix.
  • Add the bacon and parsley and stir just until mixed.


NOTES: You might want to use some other fresh herbs of your choice. You could also use Gorgonzola or Havarti or any other cheese you wish. Experiment with fingerling potatoes. Or add a combo of potatoes and turnips or parsnips. This is just versatile as you want it to be. With sliced sausage and perhaps some peas or green beans added, you would have a whole meal in the skillet!

AUTHOR: Sherry Peyton

OVEN: 425°

TIME: 30 minutes


Omygosh Orzo!

Lemon-Pepper-Orzo_s4x3_lgIn the search for something “other than potatoes” there is nothing better than pasta! And just not any pasta, but lovely orzo, the pasta that looks like rice.

It cooks up just as fast, and has a bit more body to it than rice does. It takes to lots of additions, so you can pretty much do with it what you like in terms of cheeses and adding other crisped vegetables.

I love it with seafood and with some lemon.

This is a dish I didn’t create, but I could have.

And with so many recipes here, it’s versatile. Just think of what you might add to rice, other pasta or potatoes, and your choices are unlimited.


  • a  bit of EVOO, a tablespoon or so
  • 1/2 c chopped onion (you could use shallots too)
  • 1 c orzo
  • 1 c chicken broth (vegetable would be fine as well)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice and the zest of 1/2 of a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Saute the onion in the olive oil until softened.
  2. Add the broth and orzo and stir in well
  3. Reduce, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes
  4. Fluff up and add the chives and lemon juice and stir.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.


NOTES: Add Parmesan cheese, or Gruyère or any type you desire. You can add other herbs too of course. With a chicken dish, thyme would we wonderful. Also you could add chopped dried tomatoes or roasted red pepper. Also consider some sunflower seeds or pine nuts. Lots of options to choose from.

SOURCE: My Recipes