Call it a trompe l’oeil if you like. You know, that French phrase that means ‘trick the eye’. There are some fun food tricks out there that really blow us away. We went to a birthday party earlier in the summer, and as we walked up to the celebrating group, we saw three small tables full of sliders. Full mini burgers with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and sesame seed buns. Score! As we got closer, we were told they were not sliders, but in fact cupcakes. What! The man of the evening’s fabulous and super artistic girlfriend had spent the entire day doing something unprecedented for her–using her super artistic skills to make treats like this. A true trompe l’oeil. What you see above is nowhere near as elaborate or creative as what we’ve detailed, but it’s one of the circulating tricks that have been going around for a while. It wasn’t until now that we’d given it a try.
Do they look like mashed potatoes? Hope so! The funny thing is that there is no potato in sight. All of that fluffy goodness is really cauliflower. If we really wanted to pull the wool over your eyes, we could’ve made a mini bread roll, pulled out the inside, stuffed it with mashed cauliflower and decorated the top with crispy bacon, more cheese, chives and a dollop of sour cream. Maybe even a little chili? Or is that doing too much? Just writing that makes the stomach rumble for more, so it looks like we have a new trompe l’oeil on the to-do list. For now, please be satisfied with the simple white bowl presentation method.
Cheddar Mashed Cauliflower – Serves 4 to 6
2 medium heads fresh cauliflower, stalk removed and florets separated
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add cauliflower florets. Cook until fork tender but not mushy, approximately 10-15 minutes.
2. Remove cauliflower and place pieces in a large bowl. Use a potato masher to break up the largest chunks. Pour into a blender or large food processor, but keep the bowl to the side.
3. Add milk, rosemary and salt to cauliflower and blend to desired consistency. Return to the original bowl and stir in cheddar cheese until melted through.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.