Reinvented Shrimp and "Grits"
Posted 13 April 2009 - 05:09 PM
Like many eGulleteers, I have long been a fan of thinly slicing cauliflower and roasting it down until it's brown, crispy on the edges and delicious. Recently, when my wife developed some pregnancy-related blood sugar issues, I suddenly wondered what this would be like pureed and served as a low-carb replacement for mashed potatoes.
I'd had cauliflower boiled and pureed this way and found it bland. But when I roasted the cauli first (OK, sliced not quite as thinly as the "french fry" style method), developing a crust and nice browning, added a knob of neufchatel cheese, S&P and little milk and pureed in the Cuisinart, the whole dish was transformed. Nutty, rich ... definitely not a "substitute" for anything. I did it with roasted garlic and served with chicken one night, shad fillets another.
Last night, I roasted two heads of cauliflower then added it to the food processor with milk, a small nob of the aforementioned neufchatel and a generous amount of grated white cheddar. Once ground finely, I transfered it into a buttered casserole to cook in a 300 degree oven while I prepared the rest of the meal -- so the cheese would melt and the resulting product would be piping hot.
For the shrimp, I simply deveined two pounds' worth, coated them in a spice rub heavy on acho chile, and gave them a quick high-heat sautee in bacon grease and olive oil, adding in midway through two cloves of minced garlic, the juice of a Meyer lemon, a splash of white wine and a tiny amount of roux I'd made after cooking bacon. To finish, a bunch of parsley and chives, then the crumbled bacon.
But you could use any shrimp and grits recipe you want. The key here is the "grits." Served atop a nice bed of this cauliflower concoction, the shrimp looked beautiful. We used these purple plates, and a side of steamed asparagus ... I wish I'd had a camera handy.
Everyone cleaned their plates and had more -- including my stepdad, who's a very finicky eater. This is a keeper, and I imagine I'll continue the experimentation.
I still like grits, don't get me wrong, but I dare say these are more complex. And because the roasting removes a lot of the cauliflower's moisture, when pureed it retains a slight coarseness that really works for "grits.'
Posted 14 April 2009 - 07:14 AM
I've got two cauliflowers in the fridge & I'm tempted to try pureeing them after roasting--even a soup might be good.
And isn't your wife lucky to have you preparing special dishes for her!
Posted 15 April 2009 - 06:51 PM
Posted 15 April 2009 - 07:34 PM
Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:33 AM
Posted 15 February 2010 - 09:55 AM
Delicious as always.
Did anyone else ever get to experiment with using roasted cauli in dishes like this?
Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:40 AM
I had made homemade ricotta or paneer and used some in one of my recent batches. It really gave it a good taste and texture. I've use cream cheese, milk,cream, grated cheese and any combination of these with good results. The ricotta was excellent. I'll have to try roasting it now as well and I love shrimp and grits
Edited by scubadoo97, 15 February 2010 - 10:41 AM.
Posted 15 February 2010 - 03:29 PM
I pureed them and stuffed things as if they were twice baked potatoes. Mushrooms were a favorite.
Posted 15 February 2010 - 05:02 PM