Back in the kitchen, with a hit
February 1, 2017
OK. So I’ve been slacking at the stove. Sue me. I’m back in the kitchen, and I have a HIT, I tell you, a HIT, for y’all.
This New York Times’ Cooking site, with my judicious edits, brings a brand new, and really damn good, side dish to your table. I give you — cheesy baked cauliflower!
I had this head of cauliflower that was going to go south if it resided much longer in my fridge. And the NYT had obligingly published this recipe. And even though it called for broccoli and I had cauliflower, I figured we could fake it.
And we did.
Besides subbing the cauliflower (which I parboiled for the directed two minutes), I subbed garlic confit for the fresh minced garlic; homemade ricotta for the fresh mozzarella, because I had it; Aleppo pepper for the red pepper flakes, because I like the flavor; and grated Parmigiano instead of pecorino, because I had it, too. OK, so maybe it’s only an approximation of the NYT original recipe, but, hey, close enough for gub’mint work. Because, y’all, this stuff is GOOD.
Proof? Child A liked it. And she doesn’t like capers. I’m not real sure she likes anchovies, either.
We will see how well it warms up tomorrow. I may warm some for breakfast, and put a poached egg on top of it.
I minced up my teaspoon of capers and my four anchovy filets. I spooned out several cloves of garlic confit; truth be told, it was probably closer to six cloves than four, but confited garlic is not as stout as fresh, either. Smushed/minced all that together, transferred it to a tiny bowl, and added olive oil.
As directed, I drizzled it over the parboiled-and-drained cauliflower. Next time, I’ll put them both in a bowl and toss them together to distribute it better. Put the cauliflower in my deep-dish pie plate, topped with ricotta, dotted it with kalamata olives (dropped one, and Lucy decided she liked Kalamata olives, and ate pit and all), and topped with grated Parm. It went into the CSO for 20 minutes on steam-bake at 375 degrees.
Good stuff. REAL good stuff.
I had warmed up pork chops I’d cooked Sunday and decided I didn’t want then; I had seared them and then simmered them in hard cider. I warmed them, then pulled the chops out and reduced the sauce. Cooked some egg noodles and tossed them in the reduction, finishing them off with a couple of tablespoons of butter. Pretty monochromatic, but good, dinner.
But this cauliflower. I’ve put it up in the fridge. I seriously thing it would be wonderful to just puree the whole thing and use it as a spread for crackers or toasties. Or combine it with the jar of artichoke hearts I bought on a whim today, bake the whole resultant puree again, and call it cauliflower-artichoke dip and serve it Sunday for the Super Bowl.
It’s good stuff. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em go get you a cauliflower and try it. I think it’d be pretty good with the broccoli, too; that may be my next effort.