Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

P71119-203213.jpg

The lowly cauliflower strikes again into the hallowed territory of binge TV snack food…I’ve been unable to source the original recipe and there are lots of variations on this theme out there in the culinary googleverse…

Two hours before starting this, I put a chunk of venison steak into the sous vide.

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower chopped into florets

1/2 cup of milk (any unsweetened kind or a not-milk will do)

1/2 cup of water

3/4 cup of flour

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

2 teaspoons of onion powder

1 teaspoon of paprika

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper

Directions 

Preheat your oven to 230 Celcius.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, water, milk, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Add the cauliflower florets and mix until well-coated – make sure you get the mix well into the florets themselves .

Spread evenly onto the cookie sheets so the florets are not touching .

Bake for 15- 20 minutes , flipping once.

Remove from the oven and set aside.

 Wing sauce

2 tablespoons of butter

3 tablespoons of vinegar

1 tablespoons of water

A pinch of salt

1/2 cup of your favourite hot sauce (I used some old chili sauce that had been in the fridge a long time)

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, hot sauce, vinegar, water, and salt.

Add the baked cauliflower and toss to coat with the sauce, again making sauce the mix gets rights into the florets.

Spread the florets evenly onto the cookie sheets and pop back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes until crispy (flipping once).

Don’t get some engrossed in The Punisher that you forget about them and they come out slightly scorched.

Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

I took the venison out of the sous vide and sliced it into chunks. If I had thought about it at the time, I could have crumbed them and give them a quick sizzle in a hot skillet…of even foregone the crumbs and gone straight to the skillet. This would have added a nice golden tinge to the meat…

I served them together as finger food on the same plate – see fuzzy pic above – very filling and very spicy in a good way…one head of cauli would make a decent snack serving for two people…

Another way of tricking your kids into veges…

 

Sautéed Honey Mustard Cabbage

This sautéed honey mustard cabbage bowl is a perfect detox breakfast, lunch or dinner. Cabbage is not only insanely good for you but it simply tastes amazing as well.

P71012-124411

Another winner from Jen Rice’s Sugar Soil stable…I’ve included the whole recipe here because I’ve had trouble getting it to show on the Sugar Soil site…very simple, very fast, very yum…

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of apple cider

1 tablespoon of mustard

3 tablespoon of olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons of honey

1/2 head of cabbage chopped into bite-size pieces.

An onion chopped

One large egg

One avocado diced

Directions

Combine the vinegar, mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, honey and apple cider together and set aside.

Over a medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the cabbage and the onion to a skillet and sauté for 5 minutes.

Pour the mustard sauce over the cabbage and mix well, turning the heat to low and cook for about 5-7 more minutes.

While you are cooking the cabbage, fry or poach your egg in another pan.

Place the sautéed cabbage in a bowl with the egg and avocado on top.

Easy as an easy thing…reversing the quantities of honey and mustard will give you the same less sweet and with more of a mustard ‘bite’…

P71013-120811

Yesterday’s leftovers on black rice that I soaked overnight before cooking this morning…I used a very small pan to poach the egg and then realised that I don’t have a scoop small enough to  slide the egg from the pan…hence the semi-deconstructed look…

Of the two variations, I think I prefer the more mustardy version with rice: cabbage, mustard and honey for flavour, avocado of textural contrast and the rice for bulk.

As I type, I notice that I forgot to do the avocado this morning…a mission now for whatever tomorrow’s breakfast will be…

A post in four courses – main

For a healthy main, I selected what I call my Lebanese Lasagne…its real name is Lebanese Kibbeh but I call it a lasagne because it has a similar layered construction and it is easier to say in company without a lot of explanations…I got the  original recipe from this great little book, from the Paper Plus bargain table about ten years ago…

CCI28022016

The first few times I made it direct from the recipe but found it to be a tad dry so took to adding half a can of diced tomatoes over the filling to add some additional moisture. In all fairness, the original looks quite dry too so this is just me adjusting to fit my only preferences…and it has been so long since I have made this, I forgot the tomatoes…

Here’s what I used for this dinner…

For the base and topping

3/4 cup of bulgar wheat. This seems to hide in different parts of the supermarket, even between branches of the same chain so you may have to hunt for it.

 450 grams of quorn…I didn’t know what it was either but found it when I was looking for a vegetarian alternative to meat mince…it was easier to find in the Levin New World than bulgar wheat…it’s not cheap but was worth it for an experiment and I still have a little left over to try in something else…

1 large onion grated.

15 grams butter, melted

salt, pepper to flavour

For the filling

2 tablespoons of chili oil

1 onion finely chopped

1 tomato, finely chopped

250 grams of button mushrooms as an alternative to the mince in the original recipe

1/2 cup of pine nuts

1/2 teaspoon of allspice

For the dressing

200 ml of greek yoghurt

2-3 teaspoons of crushed garlic. I used the store-bought stuff in a jar as it was there and needed to consume it

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint. Actually I forgot this as i was too busy chatting to my guest as I was serving up…it’s not like we have a shortage of it here.

Other stuff

1 cup of brown rice. I have oodles of white rice but have been wanting to try brown rice for a while with an eventual intention of switching entirely to it from white rice…just need to find a good (cheap) supplier…

This dish is quick and easy to make, even with the non-meat variations. I made it up the previous day in case prep time on the day was limited due to unforeseen work commitments.

Heat the over to 190 degrees

DSCF9612

I wasn’t sure what I would find on opening the packets of quorn mince. It just looked and felt like cooked mince…a bit of an anti-climax really…here is is mixing in with the bulgar wheat and onion…

DSCF9611

The other main alternative to meat mince was good old button mushrooms…I got the recipe from the Thanks For The Food blog…like the quorn, it was amazingly simple and anticlimatic. As suggested in the recipe, I fried the diced mushroom in chilli oil before following the other steps…

DSCF9615

Once the mushroom was mincified, I added the pine nuts, diced onion and tomato, and the allspice. I added the diced tomato to add to the distinction in flavour and texture between the base and the filling – as above though, it wasn’t enough to offset the natural dryness of the recipe. I also meant to dice and add the remaining peppers from my stuffed pepper experimentation but this was also forgotten in the flow of conversation…

I also added a dash of salt and a goodly amount of ground pepper which gave the filling a nice and occasional tang…

DSCF9616

Add half the base layer to a greased baking dish, before adding the filling evenly over the base. If I had remembered the can of diced tomato, it would have gone over the filling.

DSCF9617

Smooth the remaining base over the filling.

DSCF9618

Baste the melted butter over the top. Next time – if I remember – I’d like to try a final topping of non-dairy herby cheese…

Place in the oven and switch to fan bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

It’s now that I drop the rice into the steamer with a little salt. it takes about 40 minutes too as, perfect world, the lasagne and rice will be ready at the same time.

In the meantime, mix the crushed garlic, sour cream and mint together in a small serving dish. Ideally I think this should be done the night before to give the garlic and mint a better opportunity to battle it out with the sour cream flavour…

Slice up the lettuce.

DSCF9621

A cross-section after our two servings were plated…

DSCF9646

Plated ready to go…