I'm all for simple, satisfying meals that get dinner on the table, but sometimes it's worth stepping up efforts to create an elevated, restaurant-style recipe at home. The key is finding a dish, like these elegant cauliflower steaks, that packs bang for its buck; there's no point to working hard for hard work's sake. Oftentimes this means stealing a technique (searing whole planks of cauliflower until mahogany brown and caramelized) rather than attempting to replicate an elaborate meal that's only practical with the aid of a kitchen full of prep cooks. Add a sauce that hits all the marks — salty (capers), savory (pancetta), sour (lemon juice), and sweet (golden raisins) — glossed with every restaurant's secret weapon (butter, lots of it), and the result is restaurant-worthy, even magical. Give the recipe a spin in your kitchen.
The path from a humble head of cauliflower to a restaurant-worthy cauliflower steak is simpler than you'd imagine. But before you get your pan all in a sizzle, ready to transform the cruciferous veggie from crisp and creamy white to tender with a mahogany-brown tinge, let's master some knife work.
For the best results, choose a head of cauliflower with a tight crown — look for florets that are clustered tightly together. Loosely spaced florets are less likely to slice up into intact steaks.
While we're always excited about the newest Hershey's candy or next Cheetos flavor, we adore trying handmade, artisanal products from smaller vendors. In our new series Artisanal Pick, we're highlighting small-batch products that we've tried, tested, and devoured.If you told me a few months back that I'd be swooning over a jar of pickled cauliflower, I'd likely scoff. But, in this case, I couldn't be happier to be wrong. Full of tangy-vinegar punch and with a perfect crisp, but not too crisp texture, these pickles from Emmy's Pickles and Jams were one of my favorite things I tasted as a judge at the Good Food Awards, and I wasn't even judging the pickles category! Since my first tentative nibble (I'm typically a rather stalwart broccoli and cauliflower-hater) I've been smitten. In fact, I couldn't help but pop one after another of the tender florets in my mouth, despite initially trying these briny, Indian-spiced pickles on a rather full stomach. Just ask the food team; I cannot and will not stop talking about them, so it seemed that it was time to finally bring in a jar to the office to share.
Not too surprisingly, the consensus was that they're a game changer of sorts. Novel, but not so out of the box to remain squarely in the "interesting" category, these pickles are an excellent snack eaten plain — I somewhat shamefully often eat them straight from the jar — but they'd add zing to any manner of dishes, in particular, as an excellent foil for fatty meats as part of a charcuterie spread. All in all, I'd suggest you cast aside any doubts you might have about the concept of pickled cauliflower and snap up a jar; they're really just that good.
I was initially a little wary of this version because it didn't call for making a roux, which gives most mac and cheese recipes that creamy, hearty texture. In the first lady's recipe, you simply stir together cauliflower puree, milk, cheese, and pasta, and you're ready to go. While I love the fast and easy nature of her rendition, it missed a few of my favorite characteristics of homemade, from-scratch macaroni and cheese.
To ensure a crunchy crust, I sprinkled some buttered bread crumbs across the top and popped the dish in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. What resulted was a bubbling, crusty casserole that — despite the unmistakably delicious flavor of cauliflower — could pass for homestyle mac and cheese any day. Mrs. Obama says that this is Sasha and Malia's favorite, and I can certainly understand why! Ready for the recipe? Just read on.
Perhaps it's cliche that I read MFK Fisher's The Gastronomical Me and wanted to immerse myself in the world of food, but that's OK. Who wouldn't want to do exactly that after reading that sexy, scrumptious book? My goodness that woman could write, my mouth waters (and my heart swoons) just thinking about it.
There's one passage in particular that has had me making simple cauliflower gratins for years. I purposely don't look back at the specifics, I just count on how incredible she made cauliflower roasted with cream and Gruyere sound, swiped through with crusty bread and enjoyed with cold wine.
So here's my version, so simple, so completely gluten-free, so much better than the pasta dish I served to Nathan and John tonight (in my opinion). I threw in some arugula leaves this evening because I had them, but you wouldn't need to include them.
Keep reading for an elemental cauliflower gratin recipe.
For this incredibly easy recipe, read on.
Cauliflower belongs to the same species as cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and collard greens. Though white is most common, cauliflower also comes in orange, green, and purple; all possess that slightly sulfurous and bitter flavor. It has been an important Winter vegetable in Europe since 600 B.C. and became popular when it was introduced to the French in the 1500s. Throughout history, cauliflower's been prized for, among other things, its anti-inflammatory properties.
Select cauliflower heads that are compact. Heads that have more green leaves tend to be better protected, and thus, fresher. Store cauliflower in a paper or plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week. Want to learn more about cooking with cauliflower? Keep reading.
Cauliflower gets a bad rap sometimes. It's definitely always the last vegetable left on a crudites platter, but that's lucky for me because I happen to love this cruciferous floret. I think a lot of people are just a touch puzzled when it comes to preparation and don't know the proper ways to work with it and coax out a truly indulgent flavor.
We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Padma Lakshmi! The host of Emmy-winning Top Chef, writer, and designer started Padma Lakshmi, a social networking site that celebrates our favorite topics, including food adventures, recipes, and party planning. She'll be dishing up goodies for us here on YumSugar monthly! Today, Padma shares a recipe for Sauteed Cauliflower With Anise and Cashews.
I have a delicious preparation that will leave everyone at the table gazing longingly at the empty serving bowl where the cauliflower once was.
In North India, in a dish called aloo gobi, it is made with potatoes and cumin. I've replaced the potatoes with cashews and the cumin with anise seeds; it's lighter without the potatoes, and the cashews give it a rich, nutty flavor that pairs well with the anise seeds. The long, dry red chilies give the dish a burst of red color that looks gorgeous on the plate.
This is a great side dish to add to your Thanksgiving Day feast. It's a surprising twist on a traditional vegetable that will add some intrigue to the line-up of usual suspects. Keep reading for the recipe.
Luckily, our friends at KitchenDaily have developed an awesome recipe for super creamy soup without any cream. The secret ingredient? Cauliflower! To learn their technique, head over to KitchenDaily for the whole story.
Cauliflower is a pretty bright spot amongst Winter produce; it's also underrated. And even though its pale color might lead you to believe that it doesn't have much nutritional value, it's actually a cruciferous vegetable and in the same family as broccoli and kale. Besides helping prevent cancer and reduce the risk of cancer, cruciferous veggies also benefit the liver and the cardiovascular system.
Now that you know how beneficial cauliflower is, it's time to get cooking!
Source: Flickr User Maggie Hoffman