I had 2 cups of leftover rice and a cup of chopped cauliflower to use as a side dish for dinner. My P.S. was grilling some spice rubbed pork chops that had been marinating in a new spice rub and we needed a simple veg and carb side to accompany the chops. Dessert was going to be a new strawberry lime shortcake. Time to create!
I had chopped the cauliflower and put it into a large saucepan with a little oil and 2 tablespoons butter and sautéed it for 3-4 minutes. I added some salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
My cauliflower wanted to burn fast since I had the heat on medium high. I turned it down to medium and added 1/2 cup of water to deglaze the pan and let the cauliflower simmer for 3-4 minutes more. I wanted the cauliflower to almost fall apart.
When the cauliflower was soft I used the potato masher and pressed down on it to further reduce the size of the pieces. I stirred in the 2 cups of rice and made sure it didn’t have any large lumps by using the potato masher on the mixture again.
I stirred in 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan and 1/2 cup of shredded Swiss cheese, making sure it was fully mixed with the rice and cauliflower.
My mixture was a bit dry so I added 1/2 cup of milk and stirred well again. I let it cook for a couple of minutes until the cheeses had melted, stirring often to prevent the cheese from burning on the bottom. I taste tested for seasoning and it was perfect. Delicious!
Our pork chops were done and resting off the grill and I served up our meals. The rice really was good, almost like a risotto with the creamy, cheesy texture. Much quicker than a risotto, using leftovers, it was a definite success. I’ve made the cauliflower rice dish where the cauliflower is made to substitute for the rice. To differentiate that recipe from this one, I needed a new name. Cauliflower Rice-otto fit!
I loved the flavors of the dish. The cauliflower taste wasn’t super strong, it was mellowed quite a bit by the rice and cheeses. It might be a great way to slide more vegetables into kids’ diets!
1 cup cauliflower; finely diced
2 tablespoons butter
drizzle of oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water
2 cups cooked rice; cold
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 cup shredded Swiss
1/2 cup milk
Sauté cauliflower in a little oil and two tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. When cauliflower is softened, add water and scrape bottom of pan to deglaze. Simmer for several minutes.
Add rice and stir well, breaking up any lumps of rice that remain. Stir in cheeses and milk and cook 3-4 more minutes until cheese is melted. Stir often to avoid burning onto the bottom of the pan. Taste test for salt and pepper and serve hot.