Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Speaking of cauliflower. . .

I love it. So do the bacteria that live in my intestines however, which makes for a deadly combination.
Moving on to more appetizing thoughts, cauliflower is damn delicious. As a child, some brilliant woman (my grandmother) convinced me cauliflower was some sort of indulgent treat and I used to sneak into the kitchen and break chunks off when no one was looking. I didn't catch on for several years and then didn't eat cauliflower until oh, 10 years ago or so. Man, what I was missing. Here are a couple of my favorite cauliflower recipes.

Pan Roasted Cauliflower
Easiest. Recipe. Ever.
1 head of cauliflower, cleaned and broken/cut up into florets
Garli Garni (or if you must, garlic powder, DON'T USE GARLIC SALT!)
olive oil
Heat oven to 500.

Spread the cauli out on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and top with copious amounts of Garni. Seriously, like a lot a lot. More than that. Keep going. A tiny bit more. Okay, good.

Pop in the oven until fork tender and brown on the edges. If it gets tender but not very brown, I put it under the broiler for a few. The crispy, garlicky bits are like the yummiest garlic bread. I can eat an entire head of cauliflower this way, much to Eel's dismay. Sorry baby.

4 cups of cauli florets
1 oz I can't believe it's not butter
1 oz ff half and half
salt & pepper

Steam cauli til soft. Puree in a food processor adding butter and half and half to taste. Season with s&p. No, you won't really think it's potatoes, but it's a good stand in.

Cauliflower Soup
2 heads of cauli, separated into florets
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
3 c chook broth
1 c water
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cups heavy cream (OR TJ's ff half and half of course)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl (or in your roasting pan) toss cauli, oil, garlic and shallots. Roast til tender; 30 minutes or so.
When done, transfer to a large soup pot and pour in chook broth and water. Season with thyme and bay and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Puree using an immersion blender (so much easier than doing batches in the blender) and return to pot. Stir in cream, s&p and taste. Heat through for serving but do not allow to boil. Serve with yummy crusty bread and/or those delicious little parmesan crisps.

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