Monday, July 12, 2010

Cauliflower in a Creative Context

I'm extremely fond of Mexican food. Recently, I was salivating over an article with directions for making outstanding fish tacos. Not exactly vegetarian fare but with that fresh in my mind, it was easy to take the next step and toss together a vibrant veggie combination on warm, soft corn tortillas to emulate fish tacos.

Steamed cauliflower florets stood in for the customary white fish, and while slivered cabbage is normally the greens of choice with fish tacos, I had dark, crisp, outer leaves of Romaine that worked fine.

A generous topping of chipotle salsa and a bit of minced sweet onion (sliced green onion would be preferable) made these little luncheon tacos a great way to use some of the extra large head of cauliflower I had on hand.

The faux fish tacos were a distant memory when a few days later I brought out the rest of the cauliflower for another quick lunch. This batch took an Indian twist by tossing them with a generous coating of spicy, hot Madras-style curry powder.

Curried Cauliflower

Years ago, when I first started cooking Indian foods after faithfully watching Madhur Jaffrey's cooking shows on PBS, I followed her instructions to prepare my own curry powders. Toasting and grinding the many seeds and spices that make up curry powder. Often, as many as 12 - 14 different spices are used in a blend. These days, I rely on the good folks at Penzey's to provide me with the convenience of great curry powders.

The Madras-style that I used with the cauliflower includes turmeric, cayenne, coriander, ginger, cumin, fenugreek, white pepper, cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, cardamon, cloves and Tellicherry black pepper. A dynamite blend!

I tossed the curry coated florets with a little olive oil and a dusting of bread crumbs, they roasted off in a 425° oven for 25 minutes. Crisp and spicy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside.

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