Truth be told, I am and have always been a sucker for wedding/party food. I remember the first "Mash-tini" bar that I encountered. It was at a wedding (of course) and there was a tall, quiet man dressed in black pants and a crisp white dress shirt serving up elegant, long stemmed martini glasses filled with fluffy clouds of buttery mashed potatoes. With a sweep of his arm he invited me to explore a long table filled with mounds and mounds of toppings. Bacon, shrimp, chives, cheese, bacon, sour cream and three different kinds of delicious gravy. (Oh, and did I mention bacon?) I was in mashed potato heaven!
Never one to be held back from the foods that I love by something as silly as allergies and food sensitivities, I decided to recreated that elegant experience with mashed cauliflower. And boy is it ever a winner around my place! This very well might be my kids favorite dish....of. all. time. Partly because they love mashed cauliflower and partly because they can build their own dinner. But mostly......because I always include bacon; lots and lots of bacon!
If you've had a bad experience with cauli-mash, I encourage you to give this method a try. The key to making a great tasting mash that everyone will go crazy for is nailing the texture. You have to keep it nice and thick instead of letting it become a runny, sloppy mess. This is done through proper cooking times/techniques and by not adding too much liquid ingredients during the blending process. If your cauliflower gets overcooked it will be runny instead of fluffy and thick as well as smell and taste overly "cauliflowery".
A good thing to remember is that cauliflower already has a naturally high water content and is fairly low in starch. For this reason I prefer to steam my cauliflower so as not to introduce any more liquid than necessary to the equation. I know you might be thinking "but I want my mashed-cauli to be flavorful not bland!" Don't worry, your mash can have flavor and fluff too! But ONLY if you don't overcook it! We'll talk about cooking times in the recipe below.