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Earlier in the year I wrote about food trends. I said, my “crystal ball” showed that cauliflower, the humble vegetable I have enjoyed since childhood, will take center stage, and will become a healthful substitute for rice and other gluten-based foods. Perhaps it will become the new kale. It seems as if it might already be, with the products I see in supermarkets, the menu items in restaurants and the recipes in the food magazines I read. Companies such as Cali’flour and Caulipower produce several cauliflower products: pizza and pizza crusts, pasta, baking mix and tortillas. Trader Joe’s sells it mashed, riced, grilled and as a cauliflower tabbouleh. And now, the vegetable I remember as a child as having only one preparation — steamed — serves as a blank canvas due to its mellow flavor; it is served as a “steak” in restaurants, incorporated into sauces, spreads, soups, casseroles and pizza, and even assweet treats. A few cookbooks feature cauliflower as the star. The cruciferous vegetable is naturally high in fiber and B-vitamins. An article published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention places cauliflower 24th on a list of “powerhouse fruits and vegetables.”
Amy Lacey, author of “Cali’flour Kitchen: 125 Cauliflower-Based Recipes for the Carbs you Crave” (2019, Abrams, $19.99) said, “ Cauliflower can help create elegant versions of your favorite dishes, minus the carbs and gluten, grains and other ingredients that can lead to inflammation, weight gain.”
Lacey is founder of Cali’flour Foods, a national brand famous for its grain-free cauliflower-based pizza crusts, crisps, flatbreads and pasta. After being diagnosed with lupus and other autoimmune conditions, she made dietary changes such as giving up gluten and processed sugar, and her health improved. She wasn’t ready to forego her favorite foods, however, so she set out to recreate them using cauliflower, the versatile superfood, and began selling her crusts online and in stores, receiving national acclaim.
The popular ketogenic diet is perhaps causing the cauliflower craze. The recipes in her book provide guilt-free alternatives for every carb-craving. You will find recipes for cauliflower rice, smoky pork burrito bowl, avocado toast ten ways, a variety of pizzas, strawberry honey pie, and nana’s chocolate-chip cookies. To get you started, check out these recipes below. To save some time, you can order the crusts, flatbreads and pasta online at www.califlourfoods.com rather than making this component of the recipe. For the recipe for spinach and artichoke dip pizza, visit https://bit.ly/2VRbCqZ.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
The headnote says, “This creamy yet ethereally light soup makes use of the cauliflower florets, stems, and core so nothing goes to waste. Anise notes from the fennel ground the soup, and a small amount of saffron adds a golden hue, floral flavor, and otherworldly aroma. Pure heaven!”
1/8 teaspoon saffron
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 onion, chopped
1 bulb fennel, cored and sliced, fronds chopped
2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
1 small head cauliflower, florets and stems cut into bite-size pieces, core thinly sliced
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus more for finishing
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Put the saffron in a tiny bowl or ramekin. Add 2 teaspoons hot water and leave to steep for 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and fennel and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the sherry, if using, and cook until it evaporates, about 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower, stock, coconut milk, salt, white pepper, and bloomed saffron and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is softened, about 15 minutes.
Working in two batches, transfer the soup to a blender (be careful blending hot liquids) and blend on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Rinse out the pan and return the soup to the pan. Add the lemon juice. Taste and add more salt and/or lemon juice if needed and add a little water or stock if the soup is too thick. Spoon into bowls, sprinkle with fennel fronds, add a drizzle of oil, and finish with a grind of the pepper mill. Serves 6
3/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
1 (2-pound) head cauliflower
Extra-virgin olive oil cooking spray
1/2cup hot pepper sauce, such as Frank’s
2 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter
BLUE CHEESE DIP
1/2cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4cup sour cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
Pinch of sea salt
Make the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large, zip-top bag, combine the almond flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 1/41/4teaspoon salt.
Cut the cauliflower into quarters through the core, then cut out the core and leaves from each quarter in one cut. Trim any remaining core and leaves. Break the cauliflower into approximately 2-inch florets. Add the cauliflower to the egg mixture and mix to thoroughly coat.
Transfer to the bag with the flour and shake until the cauliflower is well coated.
Transfer the cauliflower to the prepared baking sheet with a little space between the pieces and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is starting to brown, then flip the pieces and bake for another 10 minutes, or until well browned all over.
While the cauliflower is in the oven, make the buffalo sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the hot pepper sauce and butter and cook, stirring, over low heat until the butter is melted.
Make the blue cheese dip: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork until the cheese is well incorporated.
To serve: Place the roasted cauliflower in a serving bowl, pour the buffalo sauce on top, and toss to coat. Serve immediately, with the dip and celery sticks.
New Classic Hummus
The headnote says, “This recipe takes hummus to new heights by swapping roasted cauliflower for chickpeas but keeping the traditional tahini, lemon, herbs, and spices that give it its iconic flavor. For an impromptu pizza, simply spread some over a crust and top with salad veggies, a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of salt. A high-speed blender will give you the smoothest results. This recipe is inspired by the many bowls of hummus Stephanie Galland, queen of small bites and party food, has shared with me.”
1 cup raw cashews
3 cups 2-inch cauliflower florets
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
11/4 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
3/4cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4cup fresh lemon juice, or to taste
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/8teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
Paprika for garnish
Put the cashews in a medium bowl and add hot water to cover by a couple of inches. Cover with a dish towel and leave to soak for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Drain.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Put the cauliflower in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Toss to coat and spread over a baking sheet. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the cauliflower is browned in places and tender. Transfer to a food processor or blender; add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the tahini, 6 tablespoons water, the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and cayenne; and process until smooth, scraping the sides as needed and adding more water if it is too thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon into a bowl, drizzle with oil, garnish with cilantro and paprika, and serve. The hummus will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days. Makes about 3 cups.
Beet and Balsamic Hummus: Blend in 1 large roasted beet (chopped) and a splash of good balsamic vinegar, to taste.
Za’atar Hummus: Swap the cilantro for parsley and add 2 teaspoons za’atar. Finish with a sprinkle of za’atar.
What chef would you like me to interview? Which restaurant recipes or other recipes would you like to have? Which food products do you have difficulty finding? Do you have cooking questions? Send them to me: Stephen Fries, professor and coordinator of the Hospitality Management Programs at Gateway Community College, at email@example.com or Dept. FC, Gateway Community College, 20 Church St., New Haven 06510. Include your full name, address and phone number. Due to volume, I might not be able to publish every request. For more, go to stephenfries.com.
Consiglio’s Cooking Demonstration and Dinner: April 24, 6:30 p.m., Consiglio’s Restaurant, 165 Wooster St., New Haven, 203-865-4489 (reservations required), $75 (beverages, tax and gratuity not included). https://bit.ly/2Nd0xAg Menu: Baby Arugula, Walnuts, Gorgonzola, Pancetta Vinaigrette; Homemade Bowtie Pasta, Broccoli Rabe, Sweet Sausage; Norwegian Salmon, Baby Spinach, Roasted Garlic Sauce; Poached Pears in Puff Pastry.
Consiglio’s Murder Mystery Dinner: “April Fools” April 26, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.), Consiglio’s Restaurant, 165 Wooster St., New Haven, reservations at 203-865-4489 https://bit.ly/2O3TQzQ, $65 includes dinner and show (beverages, tax and gratuity not included). An interactive comedy show that goes on throughout the evening during a 3-course meal. Cast mingles table to table, dropping clues for a mystery only you can solve. The reunion of two couples at a college class reunion does not go as planned. Or maybe it did?!!
Worth Tasting: April 27, 10:45 a.m. the first guided 31/2-hour culinary walking tour of the season, downtown New Haven, reservations required, 203-415-3519, 203-777-8550, $65. Tickets at https://bit.ly/2FjiwMP. Enjoy tasty samplings from several of New Haven’s favorites. You won’t be hungry after this tour. I will lead this one.
Suds & Curds beer and cheese pairing festival, April 27, 1-5 p.m., Black Hog Brewing, 15 Hurley Road, Building 9A, Oxford; general admission $60, includes 2-ounce beer and cheese samples, $80 VIP tickets include exclusive tour and tasting with master brewer Tyler Jones and cheese pairing master class with Jason Sobocinski at noon, $35 designated driver ticket includes cheese samples. For participating breweries, dairies and tickets, visit https://bit.ly/2TQpCz9.
Sip & Stir: May 1, 6:30-9 p.m., Chef’s Emporium, 449 Boston Post Road, Orange, $65. Reservations 203-799-2665, If you regularly smother spaghetti with a store-bought product you pour out of a jar, it’s time for you to learn to cook homemade pasta sauce. Making your own sauces might seem difficult. However, with a few simple cooking tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to preparing a fresh, exceptionally tasty sauces. You will learn how to make, basil pesto sauce, Carbonara sauce, and Bolognese sauce. You’ll take some home to share with your friends and family. Feel free to bring your favorite bottle of wine or beverage to enjoy during this class. Tickets at https://bit.ly/2IcJZFE.
Seafood Paella cooking class, May 2, 6:30-9 p.m., Chef’s Emporium, 449 Boston Post Road, Orange, $89. Reservations 203-799-2665. You’ll learn to how to blend traditional Spanish flavors with fresh, seasonal ingredients to create this world-famous dish from Valencia, perfect for entertaining or everyday satisfying family meals. Bring your favorite bottle of wine or beverage to enjoy. Tickets at https://bit.ly/2KLfEjv.
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