Archive for the 'vegetarian' Category

Cauliflower Fritters with Lemony Mayo

Cauliflower Fritters 1

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.)

cauliflower 1

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.)

cauliflower fritters

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.

Fritters:
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
1 1/2 cups beer (I used Wild Rose Velvet Fog)
2 cups all-purpose flour
Salt

Lemony Mayo:
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.

Serves 4-6.

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January 14 2015 | appetizers and veg and vegetarian | 18 Comments »

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Butter Chicken Sauce

cauliflower 3

I know, it’s such a cliché to present you with a whole cauliflower on the second of January, especially after a month-long parade of butter, sugar and bread. And perhaps it’s the decades of conditioning, or the fact that my Christmas season starts the first week of November, but at this point in the picture I tend to hit a wall (of butter, sugar and bread) and really, truly just want some vegetables. (Sadly, this doesn’t prevent me from wanting the last of the Toblerone too.) Of course I’m easing into this whole veggie thing with a healthy dose of cream.

cauliflower 1

Apologies for the iPhone pics taken in the dark, but this was concocted well before dawn for CBC. It was so magically delicious that I have to share. A whole roasted cauliflower is very pinterest-y these days, but I’ve never actually done it myself. Some techniques have you boil the cauliflower first, simmering it for 15-20 minutes in a mixture of wine and herbs, but to be honest I’d rather drink the wine and skip the whole boiling and draining part – if you slather the cauliflower with oil it will do just fine in the oven on its own. At first it’s a lot like roasting a chicken – all it needs is oil, salt and pepper, but you can jazz things up with some spice if you like.

cauliflower 2

A whole cauliflower will cook through in 40-60 minutes, just enough time to make it all golden and crusty on the outside and tender in the middle, with no need for a thermometer. I debated a Welsh rarebit sauce, then thought of how well cauliflower pairs with curry. To be honest, I winged the sauce as the cauliflower baked, rubbed with oil and a nice curry paste I had in the fridge, which I also stirred into caramelized onions with a big splash of cream to make a chunky sort of butter chicken sauce to pour around/on top/drag the florets through.

And so a new year begins. Happy 2015 all!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Butter Chicken Sauce

Roasted cauliflower:
1 small cauliflower
canola oil, for cooking
good-quality curry powder or paste
salt

Butter chicken sauce:
1 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro stems (optional)
2 tsp. good-quality curry paste
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Trim the stem and any leaves off the base of the cauliflower and put it in a small baking dish or oven proof skillet, or on a small baking sheet. Rub it all over with oil and curry powder or paste, and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 40-60 minutes, or until deep golden and tender when poked with a knife.

Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil with the butter in a small skillet set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for a few minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic, ginger and cilantro and cook for another minute or two.

Stir in the curry paste and cream and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring, for a few minutes or until thickened. Spoon around the roasted cauliflower, or save it to spoon over each wedge.

Serves 6.

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January 02 2015 | veg and vegetarian | 6 Comments »

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