Mocking the real thing

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Not many things are as boring to photograph as cauliflower, however, not many things are as good for you. And as many of you know, we here at Chez Miller have been known to substitute “choufleur” for evil carbs like rice and potatoes as often as possible. I manage to make a substitution about once a week with moderate to enthusiastic praise from the Hubs.

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Imagine my surprise however, when he enthusiastically approved the latest substitution of potatoes with cauliflower in his all time favorite summer dish….potato salad. Except, I guess, it’s really mock potato salad.

I cut the cauliflower up into small florets and cooked in boiling salted water till they were just going soft. If you cook too much, then you will get mush. So watch carefully.

Then, add whatever you add for your own potato salad recipe. Here at Chez Miller we add hard boiled eggs , diced up, with a little hot sauce, Cains mayonnaise, salt, pepper, dried dill, some chopped up gherkins and a little dijon mustard. On occasion, I have been known to add bacon, because, well…bacon.

Just another Meatless Monday…

Totally obsessed with a recipe for whole roasted cauliflower that is “treated like a steak”…yeah, not so much. But it was delish, it’s just better to not go into these experiments with a high level of expectations.


Trim a whole cauliflower and cover with softened butter. Roast at 375 degrees for 75 minutes or until brown and very soft. 

*Note: the original recipe called for a 325 oven. Not hot enough, could have a birthday while you waited for roasted status at that temp.


While the cauliflower roasts, heat 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and add golden raisins and capers and heat to just boiling.

Set aside until cauliflower is done. When ready process in a food processor with a steel blade while drizzling evoo into it making a somewhat thick vinaigrette.


While cauliflower is cooling, toss the vinaigrette with spinach or arugula, halve some red grapes and dry toast shelled pistachios on stovetop.


Place greens on plate, slice the cauliflower into 1″ thick slabs and place on greens. Top with red grapes, cubed feta cheese and the toasted nuts.

Surprisingly tasty and very filling!

Multitasking at the stove…

Saturday night I couldn’t decide which of two recipes to try, so I made both and flipped a coin at the last minute…


Saturday nite we wound up with ragu on cauliflower polenta. A simple ragu of ground sirloin (which, when I make again, I will put through the food processor for a finer product).  Brown the meat in oil, add some Worcestershire and onions, a cup or so each of ketchup and tomato purée,chicken stock, season to taste and let reduce. You can add in some butter at end to smooth it out. Top with chives.



Meanwhile, back at the food processor, cut cauliflower (shown here in festive carnival colors) into florets and then run through food processor do its like rice. Bring salted water to a boil and drop in the cauliflower and cook for about 3 minutes. Add a mere 1/3 cup instant polenta and stir until very thick. All the taste of polenta without the carbs and calories!



Original recipe courtesy of Cooking Light, September 2016, p.28

Part two of multitasking is coming right up!

Just Another Meatless Monday…

Pt. II

I was out with some work peeps after a late meeting last week and we ordered some tapas and oysters to kill the hunger pangs. One of the tapas was a roasted cauliflower with pistachio brown butter and lemon yogurt. Here’s my take on it…

 
Start with some plain Greek yogurt and a little lemon zest…

  
Roast some plain cauliflower…

  
Cook some smashed up pistachio nuts with 2 tbsps of butter on a simmer for about 5 minutes. The butter will turn slightly brown and taste nice and nutty ( get it?).

  
Top the cauliflower with the pistachio brown butter and use lemon yogurt as condiment. Totally satisfying meat free meal!

The Hubs loved it!

Counting Carbs…

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My boss is a licensed, card carrying registered dietician and fond of saying occasionally…”carbs will kill you”. So occasionally, I listen.And feel guilty about bread, breading, stuffing, cakes, cookies etc. But only occasionally. That’s when I look to vegetables to get me out of the fix…

So in the middle of one of the snowstorms and in celebration of weekly meatless monday endeavor, I ginned up this creamy leek and cauliflower soup. I started with frozen leeks from Trader Joe’s

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I cooked them down in some olive oil with some yellow onion, till they were all soft and see through and a little caramelized.

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Added cauliflower florets and stems, cut to about 1″ size all around. Added salt and pepper and about 4 cups of vegetable broth. I cooked it all until very soft and then hit the mixture with my trusty stick blender while still in the pot. Adjusted the seasoning and added a tiny bit ( about 1/2 cup) of light cream, just to smooth it out and reblended. I also put in a bit of shredded parmesan that I had on hand and topped with some sliced green onions. Serve with crusty dark bread and a dark green salad with simple oil dressing. See, I still need to have the carbs with the meal!

 

What to do with?

A frozen head of cauliflower, hidden in the back of the frig, and the last of the jar of marinated artichokes…  

Cut up the cauliflower, open a can of chick peas and rinse, toss them with the end of the artichokes, some capers, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. 

  

At the last second I threw in some preserved lemon slices and popped the whole pan into a 450 oven. 

 

I served it over a piece of grilled swordfish, yum!  

Just Another Meatless Monday…

Trying a little Cauliflower Parmesan tonite.

Start with cutting your cauliflower into 2″ florets

Then you need a dry hand / wet hand station with flour, beaten egg and panko

Roll the cauliflower in flour

Then dredge in beaten eggs

Then roll in panko

Then brown the cauliflower in olive oil on a medium flame. It does not have to be cooked through!

Then layer it in a greased pan with marinara, mozzarella and Parmesan. Pop in the oven for about 40 minutes till melty and bubbly! I paired with charred baby eggplant and a salad, all very satisfying!

The Color Challenge #3

What to do with …..

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A head of cauliflower, close to being around the bend? Cauliflower cheese of course! The cauliflower is white when I started so I get points on the color challenge….)
Cut the cauliflower up into florets and cook in 1/2 milk and 1/2 water until al dente. Meanwhile, grease a pan, turn the oven on to 375 and brown some panko or fresh bread crumbs in a dry skillet. Make a roux with 2 Tbsp of butter and 3 Tbsp of flour by browning the butter and whisking in the flour until cooked. It will be kind of dry and will smell nutty and sweet. Add a cup of milk, and a cup of shredded cheese and mix with drained cauliflower until cheese is evenly distributed. Into the oven for half an hour and you can give it 7 minutes or so under the broiler if it doesn’t get brown enough while baking or if you want it to be extra bubbly!
Excellent for leftovers with some crumbled bacon!