I know, it (kind of) defeats the purpose of eating cauliflower to deep fry it and serve it with lemony mayo. (Then again, if you’re going to eat fried food, you may as well get a cauliflower out of it.)
Parka season = beer batter season, right? And when everyone has planted themselves on the couch for a hockey game or movie or rousing game of Munchkin, they inevitably want to eat something. And I like it when that something can fall simultaneously into multiple categories: 1) salty, 2) dippy, and 3) edible with fingers. (And truly, a platter of crudites and dip never gets a welcome response on a snowy Saturday night.) Cauliflower florets have a lovely creamy texture and mellow flavour, but if you’re like me, once you have a bowl of batter and a pot of oil at your disposal, you may go a little nuts, deep-frying anything you can find in your fridge. (I imagine a zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced, would also make a great candidate.)
I got this recipe (more or less – it did require some finessing for home use) from my pal Paul from the much-loved Rouge and Bistro Rouge, where apparently the majority of tables down an order of these before dinner. I’ve made them a few times since, because a) they’re awesome, and b) don’t require you to get dressed and shovel off the car.
In other news, I have a meeting tomorrow afternoon with a new web designer! For real! It’s my resolution (new year or not) to say no to all extra things until I give this place an overhaul. I’m sorry the design is so dated, and that the Index hasn’t been updated since 2009. Is there anything you’d like to see, in terms of design, content or functionality? And on the home front, the kitchen is almost ALMOST done – it’s functional, but still needs a backsplash, which is being cut and painted now, and is scheduled to be installed on Friday. I’ll keep you posted and do a proper update… likely on Monday, when a photographer is coming to shoot it for the cover story of the spring issue of Flavours Magazine! It’s a good thing my life revolves around deadlines, or I’d never get anything done.
Cauliflower Fritters with Lemony Mayo
With thanks to Bistro Rouge, where they serve these babies with Hollandaise for dipping.
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
1 1/2 cups beer (I used Wild Rose Velvet Fog)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup mayonnaise
finely grated zest and juice of a lemon (or to taste)
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
1 tsp. grainy mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
Steam cauliflower florets until tender; cool and refrigerate until needed. In a deep bowl, whisk flour with beer and a big pinch of salt until smooth, dip cooked cauliflower florets in the batter and carefully place one at a time in a deep-fryer, preheated to 360?F; cook until golden brown. (Alternatively, heat a couple inches of canola oil in a pot until it’s hot but not smoking – a scrap of bread should sizzle when dipped in. Cook a few at a time, without crowding the pot.) Remove with a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
To make the mayo, stir all the ingredients together in a bowl, adding enough juice to keep it thick, yet tangy, and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the fritters immediately, with the mayo for dipping.