Bacon Cauliflower Cheese Sticks

baconcauliflowercheesesticks1

So here’s the deal: I usually hate cauliflower. It’s like the red-headed step child next to broccoli. Sorry to offend any cauliflower enthusiasts, but it’s just how it goes.

I’ll even admit that I detest cauliflower rice (a huge sin in the Paleosphere). Probably the best cauliflower rice that I’ve tried was Nom Nom Paleo’s Fried Rice, but even that was hard for me to get excited about. Sorry guys, but my carb-addicted taste buds KNOW when you are trying to trick them. “You call this rice?! Take your incognito veggies else ware.”

Now having said all this, I’m sure you can appreciate the amount of deliciousness it would take for me to actually LOVE a crust recipe made out of cauliflower. Say what?! That’s crazy talk. I agree.

But when cauliflower is paired with cheese, suddenly it goes from tasteless florets to a whole bouquet of flavor and possibilities. Kinda like magic. Cauli-magic.

I prefer these cauliflower cheese sticks overcooked so that the cheese is almost burnt. The BF disagrees however, so I always have to plate his cheese sticks before popping mine back in the oven. Obviously he is deranged. Who doesn’t like burnt cheese? Deranged people, that’s who.

Bacon Cauliflower Cheese Sticks

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Bacon Cauliflower Cheese Sticks

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, about 4 cups riced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 slices bacon
  • Marinara sauce (optional, for dipping)

Instructions

  1. First make cauliflower rice. Separate the cauliflower florets from the stems and throw them in a food processor. Process until you get “grains” the size of rice. (You can also use a cheese grater to get this same effect.)
  2. Steam the rice in a shallow pan with about an inch of water in the bottom for 5 minutes. Strain with a fine mesh strainer (or a strainer lined with cheesecloth.) *Tip: if you aren’t anti-microwaves then you could microwave the rice in a bowl for 6-8 minutes until translucent as opposed to the stove top method. No one’s judging you.
  3. Let rice cool before transferring to a cheesecloth and wringing ALL the excess moisture out. This is a very important step to get a crisp pizza-like crust.
  4. Meanwhile fry up 4 slices of bacon until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel and then crumble up for toppings.
  5. Dump the rice in a bowl and mix in 1 cup of mozzarella cheese (saving the rest for topping), 1 egg, and seasonings. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Shape the cauliflower crust into a thin rectangle (about 1/3” thick). Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Finish topping off the crust with reserved 1 cup mozzarella and any extra seasoning (salt, pepper, or cayenne pepper for a kick). Top with bacon crumbles.
  9. Bake for another 10 minutes until cheese is melted (and golden.)
  10. Cut into bread sticks and serve immediately with warm marinara sauce.
http://www.southbeachprimal.com/bacon-cauliflower-cheese-sticks/

Comments

  1. Sandra says

    Yes, it is cauliflower that is made to look like rice, steamed or microwaved then squeeze all the water out of it. The more you can get out, the better the recipe will be.

  2. Kathleen says

    Couldn’t you just steam the florets and then rice them? Seems like that “rice” would fall through the holes of my steamer.

    • says

      Kathleen I believe that is one method. I’ve always been worried that after steaming the florets they would become mush in the food processor, but then again I think other people do it that way so it must work. Hope this helps!

  3. Ashley says

    Mmmm… came out great! Thanks :) I keep burning myself because I don’t want to wait for it to cool before I shove it in my face.

  4. liz says

    I made these tonight. So great! We are grain free so have been dying for some warm, bread-like substance!
    Kids especially loved them

  5. Elissa says

    Do you make the “rice” from the florets or stalks that part confused me??? Can u just steam it then put it threw a ricer?

  6. Susan says

    I wonder … is there any nutritive value left in the cauliflower after the big squeeze? These look delicious … but I’m just wondering … am trying to do a bit less gluten and these are looking like a wonderful starter or party snack …

  7. Sally Kanehen says

    I just made this for my sis and mom last night and we LOVED it! So filling, and so yummy with the bacon!

  8. Monica says

    I made this last night and in spite of mis-reading the directions, it still came out really good. I erroneously put the cheese on top before the first round in the oven. I realized this after about 20 minutes when the cheese started getting pretty dark. I quickly put some foil over it to slow the browning and ended up baking for 40 minutes total. The bottom was less crispy than it should have been so I cut it into breadsticks and put them in a dry non-stick frying pan on med-high for five minutes or so. The bottom crisped up nicely. Thanks for the recipe- very comfort food-esque.

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