Hot Polka Dot
25Jun/13

The Secret Ingredient.

Cheesy Ranch Mashed Cauliflower via @hotpolkadot

We're going to take a little detour today. This blog is normally cruising down sweet street toward glistening pink frosting, melting chocolate chips and happy rainbow sprinkles. Today we're taking the road less travelled, today we're speeding down savoury street toward crisp green onions, melting cheddar cheese and tangy ranch dressing.

Today's detour is brought to you by the kind folks at Hidden Valley Ranch. You may recall last year around this time I shared with you a delicious Vegetarian Ranch Pizza that remains one of my all-time favourite pizzas. This year for the Ranchify Recipe Challenge we are once again tasked with creating a recipe with ranch dressing that makes eating your vegetables not only yummy but fun!

At our house, we're a huge fan of mashed potatoes. As a picky kid, I used to hide my distasteful vegetables under my mashed potatoes, so I thought why not do the same thing as an adult? Mashed cauliflower is far better for you than a mound of starchy potatoes and, honestly, I think it tastes way better! I like to think of myself as a reformed picky eater. I try to sneak as many vegetables into our meals as I can and this challenge was the best excuse to go one step further.

With loads of fragrant garlic, punches of powerful parmesan, potatoes for texture and, of course, a little help from tangy Hidden Valley Cheese Ranch dressing this is an entree to fool any picky kid or stubborn adult. Cauliflower is the same colour as potatoes so it's the perfect crime. Feed it to your unsuspecting family and dare them to list the secret ingredient!

Cheesy Ranch Mashed Cauliflower via @hotpolkadot

Cheesy Ranch Mashed Cauliflower via @hotpolkadotCheesy Ranch Mashed Cauliflower via @hotpolkadot




































Cheesy Ranch Mashed Cauliflower via @hotpolkadot










Cheesy Ranch Mashed Cauliflower

Makes about 5 servings.

Source: My imagination.

5 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp salted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup Hidden Valley Cheese Ranch dressing
2 tbsp - 1/4 cup milk

Cheddar cheese, grated for garnish
Green onion, sliced for garnish











In a large pot combine the potatoes, cauliflower and garlic, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes until they are tender then drain the water.

Add the butter and salt then mash until no chunks remain. This is more difficult when mashing cauliflower because the vegetable can be more fibrous. Add the parmesan, dressing and milk then whip with a whisk until it's smooth and airy. Make sure not to add too much milk as the cauliflower absorbs a lot of water while boiling and doesn't need as much liquid as exclusively mashed potatoes. In fact, you may be surprised to discover that, your mashed cauliflower needs no milk at all.

Transfer to serving dishes or bowls and top with the cheddar and green onion. Enjoy!








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  1. I don’t know why you’re adding potatoes to this! Mashed cauliflower is good enough on its own! (With mayo and ranch, of course.)

  2. I love adding unexpected flavors to dishes that elevate them. A little something that people can’t put their finger on the taste, but know it’s a little different, a little special.


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