Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Butter Chicken Sauce

cauliflower 3 Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Butter Chicken Sauce

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 Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Butter Chicken Sauce

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 Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Butter Chicken Sauce

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 »

Brie Pop Tarts

brie pops 8 text Brie Pop Tarts

How about a little pastry and cheese on a stick to ring out the year properly?

brie pops 2 Brie Pop Tarts

These babies were inspired by a need to use up the puff pastry in my freezer and cheese in my fridge, as well as the myriad of little jars of preserves selected especially for cheese and half eaten over the holidays. Of course the idea of eating the combination off a stick came from Joy, and if I know myself (sometimes I wonder if I really do) I know I won’t be able to shake the thought until I make them come to life, as it were.

brie pops 3 Brie Pop Tarts

The great thing about puff pastry (or one of many) is that you can unroll it, or roll it out, and fill it with just about anything – meltable cheese, preserves, leftovers, you name it – and it will puff up and turn flaky and golden as it bakes and look fantastic – and make you look fantastic.

brie pops 4 Brie Pop Tarts

The sticks are just for fun, of course. If you have a box of Popsicle sticks in the basement because you thought you should have them on hand for spreading glue or toddler crafts that you never made use of, you could grab a few and stick them in between the layers of puff.

brie pops 5 Brie Pop Tarts

Or leave them out – the little pockets are just as tasty off-stick. That way, no one gets the short end of it. Ba-dum-bum.

brie pops 6 Brie Pop Tarts

They could, of course, be assembled ahead of time and kept in wait in the fridge, at the ready to slide into the oven at the exact moment your friends are expected to arrive to help ring in the new year.

brie pops 1 Brie Pop Tarts

Perfect with a bottle of bubbles. Just sayin’.

Brie Pop Tarts

1 pkg. puff pastry, thawed
brie
onion marmalade or apple, apricot or fig jam
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 400F. On a lightly floured surface, unroll (or roll out) a piece of thawed puff pastry into about an 8×10-inch rectangle and cut into 12 rectangles. Place half of them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Top half of the rectangles with a small piece of Brie and a spoonful of apple, apricot, onion or fig jam. Brush the edges with beaten egg and if you like, add a Popsicle stick or wood coffee stir stick to a short end, overlapping the edge by about half an inch.

Top with the remaining pastry rectangles; press the edges with the tines of a fork to seal.
Brush the tops with egg wash and poke once or twice with a fork.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Makes as many as you like.

pixel Brie Pop Tarts
button print gry20 Brie Pop Tarts

December 29 2014 | appetizers and cheese | 10 Comments »

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