I was so in love with my recipe for jalapeno popper mac and cheese that I had to make a low carb version. Essentially, it is a combination of that recipe and my recipe for cauliflower cheese. This recipe has all the creamy, spicy flavors of a jalapeno popper, and the cauliflower takes on the texture of pasta. And it only has about five ingredients!
Jalapeno Popper Cauliflower Gratin
Approximately 2.5 to 3 lbs cauliflower florets
2 T water
3/4 t salt
8 oz cream cheese I use lowfat
8 ounces grated cheddar or cheddar jack, a handful reserved for sprinkling over the top.
2-4 jalapenos, thinly sliced (2 will yield a mild-medium dish, and 4 will yield a spicy dish)
1 t garlic powder
black pepper to taste (I like a lot)
6 slices cooked, crumbled bacon or 1/4 cup bacon bits (optional)
1/3 cup salsa verde (optional; adds a nice kick of zesty flavor)
In a large oven and microwave safe casserole dish, microwave frozen cauliflower, 2 T water and salt until softened, about 15 minutes, stirring and checking every now and then. Preheat oven to 375. In a separate mixing bowl microwave cream cheese or put in preheating oven until soft, mix all remaining ingredients except cauliflower. Once mix is combined, stir in cauliflower and any remaining liquid, and return to casserole dish. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes, until cauliflower is hot and bubbly, and the top is slightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving; the cauliflower will absorb the remaining liquid and "set".