When you think of cauliflower do you normally think of flowerettes? I know I do, so it was news to me that you could have such a thing as a cauliflower "steak". Try not to get too excited though, OK? It's not exactly rocket science.
Instead of coring the cauliflower and breaking it into little "trees", simply cut the snow white beauty through the core down the center to produce these fine looking half inch "steak" like specimens. The larger the cauliflower, the more half inch steaks you'll be able to cut since they hold together only where of the core is, so be sure to buy a large one or you'll only get a couple.
Browned until golden in a smidge of garlicky oil, they're flipped over, covered and steamed for about another 6 minutes until just tender. That's it! Simple isn't it, but that's not the end of the story.
We could have called it done right there but the thing about dieting, in this house anyway, is that boredom means the end of the diet is imminent, so I whipped up a simple roasted red pepper aioli spiced with Sambal Oelek (recipe from Anne Burrell at foodnetwork.com) and put a dab of it on top of the cauliflower.
Sauces like that pack a major punch in the flavor department and make all the difference in the world. Best thing is, the aioli will keep rather well in the refrigerator for a couple of days, and it'll be dynamite on just about anything including raw veggies, spicing up a iddy biddy tuna or chicken salad or simply slathered on a slice of lean deli beef or a cold cooked shrimp or two.
Of course, I'm planning on purchasing some fresh mussels in the next day or so and then we can enjoy Anne's recipe in the manner in which it was intended. The garlicky spicy sauce is incredible and way too good to waste. Best of all, because the flavors are so intense, a spoonful goes a very long way which is great when you're watching your p's and q's. It is LOADED with fat, so beware.
Served beside a piece of pan roasted halibut dusted in a few panko crumbs and garnished with lemon and a couple of capers, dinner was a far from boring event.
Who says this moderation thing is difficult? I mean REALLY - difficult is getting up off the floor after less than a dozen sit ups when you haven't done them for a while. Difficult is staying on the elliptical when your legs have turned to spaghetti and you've only been on it for two and a half minutes. Difficult will be trying to sit up in bed tomorrow morning without assistance. Anyone have a crane I can borrow?
Cauliflower Steaks with Spicy Red Pepper Aioli (from JBug’s Kitchen with Aioli adapted from Anne Burrell, Food Network)
1 large cauliflower head
1 tablespoon oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon water
Wash cauliflower well under running water. Remove outer leaves from core of cauliflower, then using a sharp knife start from the center (core area) and slice cauliflower into half inch “steaks”. You’ll get approximately 4 steaks per large cauliflower. Reserve remaining cauliflower for another use.
Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Meanwhile, crush garlic clove with a knife and add to the oil, moving it around the pan to prevent it from burning. When oil is hot, remove garlic and discard. Place cauliflower steaks carefully into hot pan and fry until golden on 1 side – about 3 minutes. Flip over, season well with salt and pepper and lower heat to medium. Add water to pan, cover and steam until cauliflower is just tender – about 4 to 6 minutes. Serve with a spoonful of aioli.
Spicy Red Pepper Aioli
1 large red pepper
2 egg yolks
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek or Thai Chili Garlic Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup olive oil
Roast red pepper over a gas flame or under broiler until well blackened. Place in a zip bag or covered container and allow to steam for 10 minutes. Peel and remove seeds. Place pepper into food processor along with egg yolks, garlic, vinegars, sambal oelek and Sriracha. Process until very smooth. With motor running, add vegetable and olive oil very, very slowly, in a drizzle and process until very smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until serving. (Aioli will keep well refrigerated for 2 to 3 days).
A year ago - Lemon Papparedelli with Asparagus and Smoked Salmon
Two year's ago - Spaghetti Carbonara