Sunday, December 30, 2007
It's been too long since my last post and it's time for something new...
Life has kept me quite busy these last few months and there simply hasn't been much time for trying out or creating new recipes.
Tonight I was prepping my terra cotta roasting pan for a lamb roast (already rubbed and marinated courtesy of one of my favorite grocers, Trader Joe's) when I was struck with the dilemma of what to serve with it. I opened the fridge and stared at it's contents. Hmm, been a week since I did any shopping and my choices were limited. I did have one russet potato and a whole head of cauliflower that definitely needed to be used soon. Then it came to me. Cauliflower mash. Now, I've never made cauliflower mash before. My use of cauliflower was limited to either steaming and serving as a side dish with butter or my most favorite way to serve it, lightly blanched and then tossed in with eggs, onions, cilantro and chopped tomatoes for a yummy scramble on Sunday mornings.
No finished photo as my poor digital camera battery was quite dead from non-use. But the experiment proved successful and I will most certainly use this approach again soon. Maybe next time I'll even get a photo of it before I devour the it all! :)
1 large russet potato, peeled and rough chopped
1 whole head of cauliflower, rinsed, leaves trimmed off
1 tsp pasilla chile powder (to add a hint of smoky flavor -- it isn't a "hot" spice)
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cp parmesan
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cp nonfat milk (or heavier milk if you prefer like whipping cream or even buttermilk; I only ever have skim in the house)
kosher and/or sea salt
Place the chopped potato into a pot with a steamer insert. Add cold water to cover the potatoes. Add a pinch or two of sea salt. Boil on high for 15 minutes.
Quarter the cauliflower and break into florets. Chopped the core and stems a little finer so they will cook as fast as the flower portion of the vegetable. When the 15 minutes for the potatoes are up, drain the water out of the pot to just below the steamer insert. It's important that the water NOT touch the cauliflower or the mash will wind up being too watery. Toss in the cauliflower over the potatoes (potatoes will still be just slightly underdone at this point). Toss a pinch of kosher salt over the cauliflower, cover the pot and let steam for about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it. You don't want it mushy but fork tender.
While the cauliflower is steaming, place the milk and butter in a microwave safe measuring cup and warm for 60 seconds. Remove and stir until butter is no longer solid. Set aside.
When the vegetables are ready, pull them out of the steamer basket and place in a large serving bowl. Working quickly so as to not let the veggies cool, pour the milk in and sprinkle the pasilla, garlic, pepper, parmesan. Using a potato masher, gently mash stopping occasionally to stir the mixture. Add kosher salt to taste and serve immediately.