Monday, March 5, 2012

On Breadcrumbs

I completely forgot to give you a lecture on breadcrumbs.

For ALL recipes, including the Crunchy Cauliflower recipe below, use Panko Breadcrumbs. They're pretty easy to find in a good grocery store (hello, Wegman's!) or in the Asian section of the not-so-good ones. They are Japanese breadcrumbs used for tempura, but have so many other uses. They're light and airy and so so deliciously crunchy. They also absorb less oil so if you've coated say chicken or fish, it'll be a little bit healthier. So unless you have a gluten allergy, start using Panko breadcrumbs.

And if you have a gluten allergy, get yourselves so gluten-free breadcrumbs and make Crunchy Cauliflower.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Crunchy Cauliflower with my bestie Gwyneth

And we can breathe again. I'll post the rest of my Thanksgiving recipes when I find my notes, which may be never so don't hold your breath. I can report however, that Gluten-Free Thanksgiving was delicious and a success and I can't wait until next year.

Ok, so in my efforts to treat my body better this year (New Year's resolution) I have had to come up with creative ways to eat a healthy lunch. I like eating healthy, I really do. I know that sounds like a lie, but I assure you I never lie about food. Anyway, it's not the eating healthy that's hard, it's the getting full. I think we can all agree that eating healthy leaves you feeling empty, then you eat dessert and then it all goes downhill after that. Enter cauliflower.

In my efforts to make myself a better lunch I decided to turn to cauliflower. I wish I could remember what made me think of cauliflower but I can't. Oh, I know, I found a great recipe on Bon Appetit for cauliflower steaks and made it (since we're also trying to cut down the meat we eat around here. I know, we're turning into the worst) and loved it but we had roasted cauliflower left over. What to do? Enter Gwyneth Paltrow.

During the summer Gwyneth Paltrow released a cookbook which got her a cover on Bon Appetit. I must say that I was happy to see my best friend (in my head) Gwyneth in the mail and promptly tried her recipes. Sadly they failed to impress. Sorry Gwynnie. I did, however, pick up a few cool tips such as roasting the hell out of grape tomatoes and making breadcrumbs to add texture. Enter mash-up recipe.

Mashing up recipes is my favorite because it makes me feel cool and like I know what I'm doing in the kitchen. Plus it adds a lot of flexibility to your cooking. Anyway, so thus was born Crunchy Cauliflower. Roasting cauliflower is the only way to go as steaming it makes it gross and adding the breadcrumbs for garlicky texture will leave you wanting more.

A quick word on cauliflower. I know it's not the sexiest vegetable (what is? a carrot?) but it's a powerhouse. It's low on carbs (sorry carrot), high in fiber, folate and vitamin C. I promise you will never look at cauliflower the same again.

Crunchy Cauliflower (ok so this picture doesn't do it justice)
Serves 2

1 cauliflower head
1 tblsp olive oil
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 small garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and cut cauliflower in large chunks. Evenly place cauliflower on baking sheet and roast for about 20 min. Cauliflower should be starting to brown and soften. I would peek in there every so often, different ovens have different temperaments.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic and salt and pepper. I like mine salty. Consistency of breadcrumbs should be like damp sand, not soaking, just damp. Add more oil if needed.
3. Pull out your cauliflower. Place breadcrumbs on a cookie sheet and place in oven. Roast breadcrumbs for 3-5 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown color.
4. Measure about a 1.5 cups of cauliflower per person and divide the breadcrumbs on top of the cauliflower. Enjoy

Store left over cauliflower for repeat performance or use it in soup, pizza, omelet, quiche or pasta.